THE sun shone as families from across the county made their way to Sparsholt College’s 12th annual Countryside Day.

The community involvement event, which gives people access to the Sparsholt campus, in Westley Road, saw more than 7,000 people explore what the college offers.

Greeted by the sight of dairy cows having their lunch, nothing could prepare visitors for the enormity of the site, with 14 different areas dedicated to activities including segway-riding, tree-climbing and demonstrations.

The day was also part of the centre’s centenary celebrations. The college moved to its current campus in 1914 and has seen success ever since, with its animal management courses rated ‘outstanding’ in a recent Ofsted report.

Principal Tim Jackson said the event gives people a chance to learn more about what the college does. “Hopefully it is also a bit of a catalyst to get people thinking about their future careers – it’s not a career day but it does stimulate interest. I feel really privileged to do my job, and some days I can’t believe it – it’s amazing.”

The college will hold events throughout the year.