Capel Manor College

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Introduction to Capel Manor College

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Computer Aided Design

David Kurita-MayDavid Kurita-May
Lecturer at Capel Manor College

David Kurita-May teaches Computer Aided Design at Capel Manor College, Enfield. David, is a qualified designer and has taught CAD at various institutions since 2003. CAD is increasingly replacing the use of drawing boards in professional practices and has become a “must-have” skill for those wishing to work in design...more

Animal Care

Christine BianchinChristine Bianchin
Lecturer at Capel Manor College

Christine Bianchin is the Deputy Head of Animal Care and Saddlery at Capel Manor...more

Arboriculture and Tree Surgery

Andy DeaneAndy Deane
Lecturer at Capel Manor College

Andy Deane works in the school of Arboriculture and Countryside at Capel Manor College. Andy has spent 25 years working in the field of arboriculture and tree surgery. He now specialises in training candidates on short courses in preparation for taking various chainsaw-related assessments. Capel Manor is London’s only specialist land-based further...more

Countryside Management

Gavin LeonardGavin Leonard
Lecturer at Capel Manor College

Gavin Leonard teaches Countryside Management at Capel Manor College. Gavin has spent the last decade working in the countryside management industry. After initially training as a computer programmer he realized that indoor office work was not for him. After enrolling on an evening course studying environmental studies at GCSE level his enthusiasm...more


Growing your potential at Capel Manor College

Capel Manor College is a specialist college in land-based studies, with extensive experience of delivering courses in horticultureanimal care, garden designfloristryforestry and the countryside. The college, which is home to the National Gardening Centre, the Institute of Horticulture and Gardening Which? magazine, is equipped with wide-ranging plant collections, specialist laboratories and design studios, and facilities for teaching practical skills, such as horticultural machinery.

Our day and evening, full-time, part-time, professional short courses, Apprenticeships and Traineeships lead to nationally-recognised qualifications which lead in turn to employment or further study. Our students have gained work at Kew Gardens, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, and the Royal Parks, while several have returned to work for us as lecturers. A large number go on to set up their own businesses, while our garden design students and staff have won prizes at Hampton Court and Chelsea Flower Shows on an almost annual basis for the past 17 years. Whatever your age, if you are willing to study, we are confident we can help with your success.

We have five centres across London, which include our 13th-century manor house and 30-acre country estate in Enfield, and grounds and farmland in parks across London including Gunnersbury Park, Regent's Park and Crystal Palace. we also have a centre within Newham College.

Capel Manor's show gardens in Enfield are also open to the public. We put on a full calendar of shows and family activities each year, including outdoor theatre, and festivals. We launched a social enterprise project, creating a new 15-acre commercial vineyard and orchard at Forty Hall Farm nearby.

We are recognised as a Beacon College. We hold Matrix accreditation for the quality of our student guidance and Investors in People recognition for development of an expert staff team. We enjoy excellent links with our various specialist industries. There is nowhere else quite like us in Europe in terms of our facilities, activities, staff and students.




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Subject Strengths

Animal Care - as London's major provider of animal care courses, the college maintains a wide range of species of animals from exotics (snakes, small reptiles and spiders), popular pets (ferrets and rabbits) to livestock (sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, Shetland ponies and heavy horses) in our visitor centre, animal centre and farms.

The saddlery workshops provide excellent practical facilities for production and maintenance of specialist leatherwork to very high standards. Saddlery students gain the prestigious Cordwainers Diploma at the end of their studies and enjoy an international reputation for their outstanding skills and knowledge.

Arboriculture (Tree Surgery) and Countryside - opportunities for employment in arboriculture, countryside and conservation work continue to expand. There is an increasing demand for staff with practical skills and expertise in the field of environmental management.

The college offers first-rate training sites including our own woodland, gardens and farm in Enfield, Horsenden Farm in west London, and nature reserves, country parks and private estates. Students benefit from regular field visits to a range of woodland, freshwater and grassland habitats, wildlife sites and urban greenspace.

Floristry - the college's Floristry, Flower Arranging and Balloon Display programmes have an international reputation for exceptional design skill and cutting-edge creativity. The school became a Centre of Vocational Excellence for Floristry and Business Enterprise in 2005. We are the only provider in England to achieve such recognition.

The school's achievements rest on high quality training, enabling students to develop skills and build businesses both in the UK and abroad.

Garden Design - our programmes have a well deserved reputation for the quality of training offered and the outcomes achieved. Former students have developed successful design practices and stimulating careers in the UK and abroad.

Some have designed gardens for TV series such as Small Gardens with Joe Swift and ITV Garden Makers. Our students have worked with our sponsors to attain outstanding success at Hampton Court since it began in 1990. Students, ex-students and staff have a proud record of success at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for over 15 years.

Many students become full members of the Society of Garden Designers and several have been featured in eminent journals and books on garden design.  

Horticulture - the college was established as a centre for horticultural studies in 1968. Over the years we have built a strong tradition of quality provision for a growing number of students. Our team of specialist staff, facilities and resources for the study and practice of horticulture are unrivalled.

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Student life

Enriching your college experience

We have an established programme of activities for students at our Enfield centre, and we are now planning to expand student activities to all our centres. All centres run the Jack Petchey Award Scheme where students can be nominated for achievement awards and receive a cash sum to be spent on something to benefit all the students. Students are encouraged to get involved in volunteering within the wider Capel community at all centres.

There are also a number of outings, projects and field trips that are run in conjunction with the vocational courses to enhance and enrich student's learning:

Relaxation (at Enfield only)

The centre in Enfield now has a newly-refurbished student common room, which opens daily at lunchtime for all students and features a full-sized pool table and competition-sized table football. There are also sofas to relax on and board games, magazines and books.

Sports (at Enfield only)

Footballs, rugby balls and basketballs are all available for students to borrow while softball, Kwick cricket and volleyball games are played during the spring and summer terms. There are two full sized goals for football on the playing fields as well as a basketball net. The College runs a boys football team which has fixtures against local schools and colleges and plans to run a girls football team.

Art Activities

During the course of the year we aim to run various arts activities to include: painting, competitions, origami and newsletters. Please ask the Activities Coordinators if you have any particular requests and they will try to arrange this.


Each year teams of students get involved in Children In Need and Sport Relief, devising ways of raising money for good causes.

Christmas Show

There is a Christmas Show put on by the students for the students, which gives opportunities to students who would like to sing or dance.

Ad Hoc events

These include sign language classes, yoga, salsa and street dance.

Fresher's Fayre

This successful event is held at the start of the new academic year for all Enfield students.

Team Capel

Capel Manor College is a charity. Whilst the College is funded by the government and the course fees we collect, we still need to raise around three million pounds every year to enrich our service. The College benefits from practical work undertaken by its students.

Team Capel can help make the College an even better place to study or visit through:

  1. Volunteering - in the gardens, at the farm, working with animals or in the College's administration and learning support services.
  2. Mentoring - peer mentors from vocational areas help young students to adapt to college life, complete course work and develop independent skills. Mentors work closely with the Student Services team. They receive one full day of training at the start of the year and attend termly workshop sessions.

Team Capel members extend their own and other students' learning experience with the College. All new and returning students are warmly invited to apply to join Team Capel which is available at the Enfield, Gunnersbury Park and Crystal Palace Park centres.

Student Accommodation

We have six study bedrooms available at Forty Hall Farm, which is within walking distance of the college. At present the college has accommodation for an additional twenty mature students in rented flats and shared houses. (Students under 19 years old are not eligible for college-managed accommodation at Capel Manor)

The Student Registry maintains a list of local accommodation. Priority for college-managed accommodation is given to first year students.

Learn more about being a student at Capel Manor College





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Independent Assessment Centre

Our CGLI-accredited assessment centre offers a full range of professional competency qualifications in areas such as manual and equipment handling. The centre is the only one of its kind in London. It is also open to the public.

Professional Short Courses

We offer a range of professional short courses in tree surgery, horticulture, animal care and first aid at centres across London.

Contact our Employer Services department for more details. 

Library and ILT Resources

Open access ILT facilities are available in the Frances Perry Library in the Duchess of Devonshire Pavilion at the Enfield centre and in the Learning Resources Centres at Gunnersbury Park, Regent's Park and Crystal Palace Park. All workstations have internet access. Wi-fi access is enabled at identified locations in all centres.

The Study Skills Centre

We offer advice, guidance and support to anyone at our study skills centres. If you are dyslexic or have any other learning difficulty or disability, or if you have difficulty with maths, writing or spelling, structuring an essay, completing an assignment or preparing for your examinations, the Study Skills Centre staff can support you.

Tutorial System

Personal tutors offer support and advice with your studies. The course manager may also be your personal tutor or you may have an additional personal tutor. We also provide external speakers to offer advice and guidance.

Work Experience

Most of our full-time courses include a period of work experience. We have an extensive database of approved placement providers in all our specialist areas. We also welcome proposals from students and employers for new placements in the UK and abroad. Our work experience mentor can assist you with finding work experience placements.

BSL support (for fully-funded courses)

Capel Manor welcomes applications from the deaf community. We have a full-time communication support worker to help deaf students in and out of lesson time. Students will be assessed as to their needs and BSL support may be available for fully-funded courses. For courses starting in September 2015 applicants need to apply by February 2015 to ensure that suitable arrangements can be made.

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Addresses of our centres across London

Capel Manor College
Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, EN1 4RQ

Tel: 08456 122122

Crystal Palace Park centre
Ledrington Road
London, SE19 2BS

Gunnersbury Park centre
Popes Lane, Acton, W3 8LQ

Regent's Park centre
The Store Yard,
Inner Circle, Regent's Park, NW1 4NR

Capel Manor at Newham College
East Ham Campus
High Street South
London, E6 6ER

Edmonton Green Centre
2nd Floor, 23 St George's Chambers,
South Mall, Edmonton Green
London, N9 0TS




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Introductory courses

FREE* Introduction courses starting throughout the year at our centres across London

2 days a week for 6 weeks

  • Basic Floristry
  • Basic Chainsaw Skills
  • Working as a Gardener
  • Hard Landscaping and Fencing
  • Parks and Green Spaces  

 *£48/50 registration fee applies, does not apply if in receipt of unemployment benefits

Find out more at one of our Advice Evenings and Open Days or ring Admissions on 08456 122122 or email us.

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Open Days

We open our doors throughout the year to allow prospective students the opportunity to find out more about the College, our centres and courses. You will have the opportunity to talk with tutors and participate in fun and engaging have-a-go activities to get a taster for our courses.

All our Open Days start at 10.00am and finish at 3.00pm.

Crystal Palace Park

  • Saturday, 30 April
  • Saturday, 18 June


  • Saturday, 16 April
  • Saturday, 11 June

Gunnersbury Park

  • Saturday, 23 April
  • Saturday, 25 June

Regent's Park

  • Saturday, 7 May
  • Saturday, 2 July

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Student story

Rhoda Agyeman-Duah - Floristry

Rhoda Agyeman-Duah, 34, from Sheppard Bush decided to leave her highly successful career in animations to pursue a more therapeutic occupation. She liked flowers and after a friends recommendation she enrolled on a short floristry course at the Gunnersbury Park centre.

"I really enjoyed the course and my tutor suggested I try the full time course as she thought I would definitely benefit from it and she was right. I have learnt so much and would recommend it to anyone. We work with different types of flowers, contemporary and classic designs and we are encouraged to use our own creativity. The training at the College has given me the confidence to branch out on my own, and after completing my course, I hope to start my own business."

Chloe Orengo - Animal Care

17-year-old Chloe Orengo, from Heston, was considering staying on at school to do A levels in biology and chemistry because she'd always wanted to get a job working with animals. But all that changed once she heard about Capel Manor. 

"I did well in my GCSEs but I thought why spend my time staying on at school when it's not where I want to be. Ever since I can remember I've wanted to work with animals, I love everything about them.

It feels much friendlier at Capel Manor than at school, and I've had the opportunity to work with lots of different animals, exotics like geckos and turtles and chinchillas, not the sort of animals you might keep at home.  

I was brought up around animals, my grandma really loves them and I think I get my passion from her. My mum is really happy I am here. She knows it's what I want to do and she didn't want me to be stuck in a classroom doing something I didn't enjoy. I'll be doing some work experience soon, vet nursing at my local vets and I'm really excited about that. And I already achieved the grades I need to go on to the level 3 course next year."

Seamus Harding - Horticulture Apprentice

22-year-old Seamus Harding enrolled as Level 2 apprentice in horticulture at 19, through his local London borough, where he works maintaining a local park. On leaving school he chose to go to college and learned skills in painting and decorating skills but he found this work lacked variety and working outside appealed. Awarded as ‘Best Horticulture Apprentice' by the College and described as ‘an invaluable member of the team' by his employer Seamus is about to complete his advanced apprenticeship with Capel Manor. 

"I responded to an advert by the local council and that's how I got on to the apprenticeship. I prefer the variety of what gardening offers, my day can involve anything from litter picking to leaf blowing and hedge trimming to mowing. It's better to be hands-on, I find I learn better that way than being in a classroom because you're doing it everyday. The apprenticeship has given me a really good basis whilst I've been getting paid to do a job I love. I just want to keep doing it and enjoy picking up as much knowledge as I can."

Eleanor Lawrence - Garden Design

31-year-old senior landscape architect, Eleanor Lawrence, graduated with a Masters degree in Landscape architecture, yet the task of producing planting plans would fill her with dread. Despite knowing more than 300 plants her mind would go blank, and knowing she couldn't avoid planting plans the rest of her career embarked on a part-time garden and planting design course at Capel Manor.

"I soon realised I actually needed to develop the skill to design whole spaces with plants. Already at the design-concept stage I wanted to be able to think confidently in terms of specific plants - for their architectural, textural and tonal qualities, and their capacity to reflect and enhance the built environment.

Like most people, having seen poorly planted public spaces I began to question the plant knowledge of landscape architects. My expert tutors at Capel Manor taught me to treat plants as an integral part of the overall design process, something which should be taught to all students of landscape design, yet planting design has become increasingly marginalised to just a few units within degree courses. It is one of the beauties of my profession, to use plants to inform and inspire designs. The Capel Manor course has improved my knowledge hugely."

Henry Kakooza - Access to FE- Horticulture

Henry Kakooza, 18, from Feltham, is originally from Uganda. On arriving in the UK he initially attended a special school in Hatton Cross and after also completing a course in retail at another college, he enrolled at Capel Manor to pursue his love of horticulture. On completion of his Access to Further Education course in Horticulture, Henry was awarded with certificates of achievement and for Best Student.

"I like the outdoors, working with plants, learning their Latin names and to improve the look of outdoor spaces. I enjoy every day I come to college and my teacher is very supportive. Sometimes I get to take produce like vegetables that we've grown home. 

I am carrying on next year to study at Level 1 and I want to do an apprenticeship in horticulture after that. Then I'd like to go back to Uganda and teach people how to grow their own food. Capel Manor is a lovely place; I'd recommend it to anyone."

Willem Buntinx - Saddlery

19 year old Willem Buntinx, from Belgium, is currently living in Enfield whilst studying on the saddlery course at Capel Manor. Within just a few months of starting on the course Willem won an award at the BETA International competition at the NEC Birmingham (British Equestrian Trade Association).

"From the first day I started the course the staff have been so helpful and supportive.I had never leaved away from home before let alone in another country but the support I had received from my fellow students and my tutors have been second to none. English is my second language and their patients in explaining during classes have been pushed at times but their professionalism and commitment was amazing.

I hope one day to open my own saddlery business in Belgium but would like to enhance what I have learnt at Capel Manor with further studying, ideally in France or Italy. The course at Capel is very unique; the training is very much focused of traditional saddlery making which gives a great foundation to start from."

Malcolm Shimmin - Garden Design and Horticulture

Malcolm Shimmin, 45, from Brixton worked as a social worker for 25 years in homelessness and mental health, and wanted a bit of a change. Horticulture appealed because growing up with a big garden and a mother who loved gardening had given him a passion for it, and he enjoyed pottering about in his own courtyard garden. Malcolm has completed an RHS Level 2 Certificate and a Level 1 Introduction to Garden Design at Capel Manor, and will undertake another two years of study with a Level 3 Diploma in Garden Design.

"I'd spent a lot of my career being office based so I wanted something that would involve being outside. I was one of quite a few career changers on my course and I didn't have a lot of experience, but there were some people that already had their own businesses so I'd do a bit of work with them to build up my experience.

I also volunteered at Crystal Palace Park Farm. With the RHS horticulture course you cover the nitty-gritty first, the theory and science and then you focus more on amenity horticulture, so learning how to do things. The volunteering enabled me to put a lot of things into practise. I've picked up quite a lot of work with my business 'Malcolm's Home and Garden Care', and with friends and neighbours knowing I've done the course, I'm getting requests to advise on their gardens.

The garden design introductory course taught me that I can do things I believed I never could, like drawing. You learn the basic components of graphics and the principals of design and at the end you produce a garden design project. I am a lot more creative than I realised."

Jonathan Cattle -  Forestry and Arboriculture

Unsure about what direction to take on leaving school, 21-year- old Jonathon Cattle, from Uxbridge, worked as a porter at Brunel University since he was 17. Researching outdoors careers online lead him to Capel Manor, and now with a level 2 diploma in forestry and arboriculture under his belt he is now seeking work as a Groundsman.

"I knew I had to find something that involved being outside, I love being outdoors amongst plants, trees and flowers. When I was younger if I ever found a tree that was climbable, I'd climb it. I feel totally focused now, I want a successful career in tree surgery and eventually to have my own business. I've loved my whole experience at Capel Manor. It's been great to be learning something I enjoy, as at school I didn't enjoy learning because I wasn't very academic. And I know I'll continue to learn new skills and different techniques throughout my career."

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Contact Details

Capel Manor College
Bullsmoor Lane

Tel: 08456 122122

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

08456 122122 ext 1160

Professional Short Courses

08456 122122 ext 1245