TRANSATLANTIC visitors to Newton Rigg College were given a hands-on insight into forestry management UK style, as staff and students welcomed education professionals from Georgia, USA.

Newton Rigg, which is part of Askham Bryan College, runs forestry courses at its Penrith campus and has forged links across the Atlantic with Coastal Pines Technical College which has begun to run similar courses.

Over the last year, the two organisations have shared lessons using Skype with questions backwards and forwards from each group of students about the different methods of working. The initiative has proved so successful that future student exchange visits are being discussed.

Martyn Davies, Forestry Lecturer at Newton Rigg explained: "The first contact came in autumn last year when we learned that staff from Coastal Pines were visiting Cumbria and were interested in linking up with a college or university with forestry on the curriculum. We got in touch, invited them for an exploratory visit and the relationship has gone from strength to strength."

The Georgia visitors were able to see students' practical work as they rolled their sleeves up and demonstrated skills they are learning as part of their Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma studies.

They also visited companies and organisations which work in partnership with Newton Rigg including the Forestry Commission, A W Jenkinson and Komatsu.