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ARMSTRONG COLLEGE, NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ECONOMY,
ACTING IN CONNECTION WITH THE COUNTIES OF NORTHUMBERLAND, DURHAM, CUMBERLAND, AND WESTMORLAND.
Staff Professor of Agriculture and Rural Economy
Douglas A. Gilchrist, M.Sc., F.R.S.E. Lecturer in Agriculture
C. Bryner Jones.
E. Jeffery, B.Sc.
A. Meek, M.Sc., F.Z.S.
J. G. Murray. Lecturer in Forestry
A, C. Forbes. The following members of the College Staff, with assistants and demonstrators, also give instruction in their several subjects to the students in the Agricultural Department : Professor of Mathematics
C. M. Jessop, M.A. Professor of Chemistry
P. P. Bedson, M.A., D.Sc. Professor of Physics
H. Stroud, M.A., D.Sc. Professor of Geology
G. A. Lebour, M.A., M.Sc., F.G.S. Professor of Botany
M. C. Potter, M.A., F.L.S. Professor of Natural History
G. S. Brady, M.A., M.D., LL.D.,
A. Dean, A.R.S.M.
the Agricultural Department A. Meek, M.Sc. Professor of Engineering
R. L. Weighton, M.A. COURSES OF INSTRUCTION. The College prepares students for the Degree of B.Sc, in Agriculture of the University of Durham and for the College Diploma in Agriculture.
The Degree course extends over three years and embraces the following subjects of study :
The additions to the existing buildings referred to, in last year's report, as being in process of construction, have now been completed and, since the close of the period covered by the present report, have been opened by His Majesty the King. They are of an imposing character, and comprise a large lecture hall capable of accommodating 1,000 people, administrative offices, library, and a variety of lecture rooms and laboratories for various subjects including botany and natural history, Those for these last-named include a lecture room, a large general laboratory, an inner one, and also a small one for research. In these a quantity of useful experiments or demonstrations are always in progress on plant growth and these are of course interesting to the agricultural as well as the general student.
The provision for these subjects made in the new buildings has freed other rooms for purposes of the agricultural department, and this is now fairly well accommodated.
A small museum is being got together for the forestry section.
The work in this last department continues to increase, and the correspondence it entails is becoming something considerable
. A reference is made in a later portion of this report to the provision being made for a forest station, and for places where experiments can be systematically conducted,
Of the above, all attending this last course, except one, came with scholarships from the counties of Northumberland and Durham, while of the Degree and Diploma course students, five came with scholarships from the counties of Durham, Cumberland, Wilts, and Dumfries.
Nine students attended the special course of lectures on forestry, one having come to the College especially for this course.
A Saturday course for elementary school teachers was held at the College for 21 weeks, the subject taken being botany. The course consisted of three hours laboratory work each day the class met, and it was attended by six students from Northumberland and three from Durham.
A class in dairying was held at the College in the spring of 1905, and lasted for eight weeks, instruction being given in butter and in cheese making. It was attended by 12 pupils from the county of Durham. A further class was held in the present year, during the past session, and was also attended by 12 pupils.
The usual Saturday afternoon lectures at the College to miners on the management of pit ponies were also repeated ; they were attended by 43 men from Durham and Northumberland of whom 34 came with scholarships.
It may be mentioned as regards the work in this district, that Cumberland and Westmorland conduct not only their dairy work but their ordinary lecture work through the Newton Rigg School; but horticultural work in both counties is carried on through the Armstrong College. In Northumberland, however, the county horticultural instructor is not on the staff of the College, although he works in close touch with it.
It would be of advantage if the plan pursued in Yorkshire could be extended to this district (and indeed to several others 25689
Dairying.—The eight-weeks courses at the College have already been referred to. In addition, the College, as in previous years, examined, by means of written papers, pupils from the county of Durham who had attended a travelling dairy course at five centres in that county. Certificates were awarded to those who qualified.
COUNTY EXPERIMENTAL STATIONS. In Northumberland, the experimental work at Cockle Park continues to arouse much interest amongst farmers in the district. While the original experiment with sheep continues to yield useful results, the extension of it, referred to in a previous report, where four plots of 10 acres each have received an initial dressing of 10 cwt. of slag per acre, and are now undergoing separate after treatment, is beginning to shew signs of very considerable interest. Several other fields, notably a meadow which has been under systematic manurial treatment since 1897, show, by an appearance
hich can only come with time, the wisdom of having a permanent station of this character.
In Durham, the experiments commenced at the semi-permanent station at Offerton on dairy cattle have attracted much attention amongst the farmers of the county, where dairying is such an important branch of farming.
A number of dairy and milk-sellers' associations have, as a consequence of these experiments, asked for lectures on the subject.
FOREST STATIONS, As already mentioned, considerable development is taking place in this direction, the chief of which is the placing of the Crown Woods at Chopwell under the management of the College. These woods, which are within easy reach of Newcastle, are about 900 acres in extent, of which about 850 acres are suitable for forest purposes. They were planted some 90 years ago with oak, but after about 40 years the oak was felled and the wood planted with larch. The greater part of this was a failure, and the wood now chiefly consists of poorly grown larch, with oak and some other hard woods which have sprung up from old stools. It is considered that about half the wood can remain to maturity, and it is proposed to replant the rest in areas of 10 to 20 acres each year. An object lesson will then be afforded each year of felling and replanting.
The planting will take place under “high forest” conditions, the whole of each plot being felled together when it has reached maturity. A nursery is of course being established, and the place should be of very great value to the forestry students at the College and to others in the county interested in the subject.
Several of the leading landowners of the district are co-operating heartily with the department, and have given facilities for taking periodical meagurements of trees in selected small plots at different altitudes, Of these plots there are now 25, varying in extent from one-fifth of an acre to one acre, and cropped 3 with