Student Comes Second In The Olympics Of The Lumberjack World

Mon, 2000-07-24 01:00

A team from East Durham College’s Houghall Campus recently took part in The World Pole Climbing Championships 2010 which took place last week at Cannock Chase in south Staffordshire.

Houghall student Richard Batson, aged 18 from Tow Law, came a very impressive second in the world championship’s expert category - with an eleven second climb. He won a new model Husqvarna climbing saw for his efforts. Other members of the team claimed 4th and 6th.

Jack Barnard, aged 21 from Trimdon Village and a second year national diploma student, came second in the world championship’s novice event and also won a new model climbing chainsaw.

The event tests who can climb a free-standing wooden pole in the fastest time with appropriate climbing aids. Two huge 100ft Douglas Fir poles, weighing over six tonnes each, were the centrepiece of the competition. All entrants must use safety equipment while they shimmy up the pole. When they reach the top, they strike an electronic timing button to record their time.

Chris Wheatley, a lecturer in arboriculture at the College, said: “All the students did extremely well, particularly Richard and Jack. The College also provided the belay team which was responsible for all the climbers’ safety. I was very proud of the whole team.”

Climbers from all over the UK and Europe including teams from Italy and Switzerland took part.

It was all part of APF 2010 - a three day event which was held between 23rd - 25th September – which is the UK's largest forestry and woodland exhibition. Over 20,000 people visited the event and saw a range of other things on offer such as a woodland crafts area, extreme mountain bike displays and vintage machinery.