Graham Watson MEP

Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar

A local champion with an international reputation

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MEP in Visit to South Devon Community Learning Project

A South West Euro-MP has visited the Sharpham Trust at Ashprington, near Totnes this week to meet with volunteers leading a European funded education project.

Sharpham Outdoors Project, a community learning initiative based in Ashprington, Totnes has received funding through the European Union's Leonardo Di Vinci initiative to train students in sustainable farming and biodiversity. In addition to offering a wide range of courses of sustainable rural activities, the trust also supports a local charity in offering adults and teenagers with learning disabilities to develop skills in rural volunteering.

After the visit by Liberal Democrat MEP for the South West Sir Graham Watson, he commented:

"I was very pleased to come down to visit the project and see how European money is being spent on the ground.

"This is exactly the sort of project the EU should be funding. It develops the skills required to boost the rural economy and ensure that we have a new generation of young people to work in this vital industry. Too often rural areas are hindered by an exodus of young graduates who move into the cities or towns for work in other industries. The rural economy is the bedrock of prosperity in Devon and we need to retain these skills as much as possible.



Please see attached photo of Sir Graham with volunteers and students from the Sharpham Outdoors Project.

The project has benefited from the Leonardo Di Vinci lifelong learning programme, funded by the European Commission. This enables the project to bring over students from across the European Union to study at the farm as well as local students.