Television presenter and farmer, Jimmy Doherty (@jimmysfarm), is making exciting plans with Writtle University College in Essex. On 8th March, he visited students and staff on their countryside campus, two miles from Chelmsford.
In early 2022, Jimmy became the University College’s Chancellor, following the completion of Baroness Jenkin of Kennington’s term of office.
This unpaid, voluntary role is ceremonial and involves appearances at graduation and prize-giving events but Jimmy also aims to take a hands-on approach and will use his Farm and Wildlife Park in Suffolk to support research and community projects.
Throughout the day, Jimmy spoke to students and staff about their projects and passion for their subjects. He was accompanied by Stevie Sheppard, a former lecturer at the University College, who is now the General Manager of Jimmy’s Farm in Suffolk.
He and Stevie toured the plant-filled greenhouses and campus sports courts. They also visited the welfare-led animal unit, canine therapy facilities, farm and specialist equine centre to meet some of the species – from marmosets and horses to reptiles – cared for by students and staff.
Jimmy said: “Today has been absolutely fascinating. It’s been a real inspiration. Not only the fantastic student body that is here, but the wonderful staff and facilities and I can’t wait to start working with Writtle, we’ve got so much planned.
“I think, for me, we’ve got some exciting projects. We’ve talked about working in collaboration with different research projects to do with conservation, rewilding and animal behaviour, and that is just the beginning. There’s so much going on at Writtle.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Middleton said:
“We were delighted to announce that Jimmy Doherty would be our Chancellor. Jimmy embodies Writtle University College’s values and has a long-standing commitment to conservation, agriculture and education. We look forward to working together to ‘put science into practice’.”