Feature: The Eccles Sixth Form College Animal Centre
12 August 2019
From capybara to cockroaches, snake to sheep, ponies to peacocks, and alpaca to Asian water dragons, the Eccles Animal Centre is thriving, and is at the heart and centre of life at the college.
Facilities for Animal Lovers
Both the indoor and outdoor animal facilities have seen significant investment and development over
the past few years. Today, the college is home to 250 different species of both domestic and exotic
Students studying within the department have access to a diverse and unique selection of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and marine life, and as part of their curriculum, will be given the opportunity to handle and work with these animals each and every day.
The Veterinary Nursing Department has also seen significant regeneration. It is home to state-of-the-art
laboratories, a surgery suite, and the latest industry equipment, giving students on the course the chance
to experience all aspects of the profession.
Offsite, those interested in equine, have access to facilities at Ryders Farm Equestrian Centre, which is
home to over 52 horses and ponies and set on almost 60 acres of land.
Special Partnership with Ryders Farm Equestrian Centre
With an indoor and outdoor riding arena, two dedicated training fields, livery arena, lunge pen, feed
room, specialist classrooms and much more, Ryders Farm Equestrian Centre is the perfect place for horse and animal lovers to learn, train, and spend their days.
Established in 1993, the Centre has come on leaps and bounds since its humble beginnings, and now
dedicates its days to teaching the college’s equine students horsemanship to British Horse Society
Unique Opportunities for Students
Studying within the Animal Department at Eccles Sixth Form College offers many unique opportunities,
not offered at other establishments. From being able to handle endangered and rare species to carrying
out one-on-one de-sensitisation training with some of the College’s friendliest inhabitants. This training
not only provides stimulation for the animals but also makes it easier for students to health check
them for their studies.
Because of this high-level of contact, many of our students create special bonds with animals they wouldn’t normally come into contact with and they have the opportunity to work with and visit some of the top animal establishments and organisations in the country, thanks to the special partnerships the college has formed.
The Department works closely with several major zoos and zoological collections across the UK and
regularly homes new animals directly from their partners breeding and rescue programmes.
In recent years, Eccles has rehomed multiple rescued animals, from freed battery hens to exotic tortoises
that were confiscated from smugglers at Heathrow Airport. More recently, the College has formed links
with various Ex Situ Conservation Projects in order to home threatened birds, including the White-napedCrane and the Waldrop Ibis, which are both part of the European Endangered Species Programme.
Eccles is also now home to critically endangered Vietnamese Pond Turtles, from Paignton.
Meet the Residents
Some of Eccles Sixth Form College’s most popular residents include:
Steve and Peggy – Capybara
Capybara are the largest living rodents in the world. Native to South America, the mammals are closely related to guinea pigs and chinchillas.
Paris and Nicole – Emu
The Australian native emu is the second-largest living bird by height.
Beyonce – Blue-Tongued Skink
Blue-tongued skink are some of the largest members of the skink family in Australia. Their name comes from the blue pigment of their tongue which makes them easily recognisable.
If you would like to study an animal-related course at the Eccles Sixth Form College Animal Centre, whether you are a school leaver or an adult looking for a Higher Education course, contact the college’s admissions team on 0161 631 5000, or email email@example.com.