THE leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey MP, has paid a visit to Sparsholt College.

The visit coincided with the Liberal Democrats' annual conference in Bournemouth. Mr Davey was joined by local vet and parliamentary candidate for Winchester Danny Chambers.

Hampshire Chronicle: Ed Davey MP (left) and Danny ChambersEd Davey MP (left) and Danny Chambers (Image: Danny Chambers)The pair attended the college's tractor driving school and learnt from the students about handling livestock.

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Danny Chambers said: “It’s fantastic to have a local college that offers pathways for young people into rural and agricultural jobs.

“I was happy to learn about the variety of courses offered, and how students now don't have to choose between livestock and arable until their second year, so they can experience both and see what they enjoy best.

Hampshire Chronicle: Ed Davey MP and Danny Chambers alongside Sparsholt studentsEd Davey MP and Danny Chambers alongside Sparsholt students (Image: Danny Chambers)“The rocketing energy costs of running a land-based college was also a key discussion point. Sparsholt runs milking parlours, pig houses, and reptile vivariums in their zookeeping section at certain temperatures, so they are acutely impacted by energy costs.

“If elected, I will continue to support and speak up for this fantastic college which proudly educates and trains our future agricultural workforce here in Hampshire.”