Field work

PUBLISHED: 12:14 26 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010

Samantha Cobb

Samantha Cobb

A TEENAGER who loves the countryside is on the verge of winning a major competition. Samantha Cobb, 18, of Hitchin Road, Henlow, has been shortlisted for the Young Champion of the Countryside Award, a competition that was launched this year by Lycetts, t

A TEENAGER who loves the countryside is on the verge of winning a major competition.

Samantha Cobb, 18, of Hitchin Road, Henlow, has been shortlisted for the Young Champion of the Countryside Award, a competition that was launched this year by Lycetts, the UK's leading farm and estates insurers, and Field magazine.

The competition carries a top prize of £1,000 and an all-terrain vehicle worth £3,500.

Samantha, a former pupil at Samuel Whitbread School and now a student studying for a national diploma in countryside management at Shuttleworth College near Biggleswade, is one of 10 finalists out of hundreds of nominations for the award.

"I am now keeping my fingers crossed that I will be the winner," said Samantha.

"I really love the countryside and have done all my life having grown up on my father's farm here in Henlow.

"I enjoy walking in the countryside with my dog Toffee and watching nature and everything that happens in the fields and hedgerows and I also support conservation projects.

"I don't have anything to do with the farming but I am monitoring what is going on and we have left field margins down the sides of fields where wild flowers and grasses grow that attract all sorts of wildlife.

"We have two resident partridges so we as a family are doing our bit to preserve the countryside."

This week Samantha returned to Shuttleworth College where she will embark on the next stage of her countryside management programme with a chain saw in her hands as she learns tree pollarding and hedge laying, which she already enjoys doing.

At the weekends she works for Countryside Management Services in Hitchin When she leaves college Samantha hopes to go into countryside management saying: "I want to be a countryside officer or warden as I want to conserve the countryside around me and support the rural economy.

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