A Hampshire teenager has become the first student to complete a two-year introduction to woodland management course run at Hoburne Bashley in the New Forest.

The course was designed after Willow Melia, 16, showed huge potential during a six-week course in the woodlands at the holiday park with other pupils from The Arnewood School in New Milton.

Tutors at Sparsholt College were so impressed with his final portfolio that he has been offered a place to study there from September. Now it is hoped other pupils at the school will follow in his footsteps.

Hoburne’s woodland manager Paul Brockman, who ran the course, said: “This opens up land-based industries as a possible career path at a time when few people are going into these jobs and we have a large number of neglected woodlands in the UK.

“Willow really stood out to us and so we set up a pilot project between Hoburne and The Arnewood School to harness and further that interest.

“It’s been a pleasure working with the school and Willow. He’s worked really hard and been so reliable – it’s been great to have him on board.”

General manager at Hoburne Bashley Bob Lawrence added: “Hoburne is having a direct input into young people’s education in this area and that’s wonderful.”