Students were given a surprise when Alan Titchmarsh MBE paid a visit to the Titchmarsh Centre for animal studies and vet nursing at Writtle College.
The Centre, officially opened by Alan in September, was named after the popular celebrity, who has supported the college for more than ten years.
Alan watched as students milked sheep, came face-to-face with Wylie the goat, petted some ferrets, all before moving on to the Dog Grooming parlour where he personally groomed a Labradoodle.
His tour also took in the indoor animal units – reptile, fish, Avery, companion – as well as the classrooms.
He said: “This Centre is superb; it teaches all of the essential practical skills for animal husbandry and vet nursing. It is exciting to see that all of the courses are so stuffed full of folk – it’s wonderful to see what people have the opportunity to learn here at Writtle.
“The thing about Writtle is that it’s one of the best kept secrets in Essex, it’s a shining beacon – I’m thrilled my name is up there and I hope it stays there for a long time.”