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Date: 8th November 2017

An enthusiastic and creative horticulture graduate at one of the UK’s leading land-based colleges has been awarded the renowned HRH The Prince of Wales Perpetual Challenge Trophy.

During his two years studying at Askham Bryan College, based at the Newton Rigg campus, Tom gained invaluable work experience at Levens Hall Gardens in Cumbria & Gresgarth Gardens in North Lancashire, developing his interest in gardening following his PhD in Ecology and Genetics at the University of York.

On embarking upon a career in horticulture, Tom said: ““I have loved nature and the outdoors ever since I was a child. This developed into a professional interest as I pursued a career as an academic in the field of ecology and genetics. When I decided to make a career change into something more hands-on, horticulture appeared to be an ideal vocation to pursue.”

The winner of the prestigious award is selected by The Worshipful Company of Gardeners, who believe that the future leaders of the horticultural world should not only understand the principles of sustainable development, but should be able to apply them in practice. Tom’s application was supported by Senior Lecturer for Horticulture, Forestry & Floristry Shelagh Todd, who said: “Tom is passionate about sharing knowledge relating to organic and sustainable food production and thoroughly deserves the Trophy after two years of excellent work at Newton Rigg.”

Awarded annually since 1999, the trophy is given to a horticultural student who, in the eyes of the judges, demonstrates a valid commitment to sustainable horticultural practices. Tom successfully won the award for his remarkable work replacing the front lawn of his home in Lancaster with a small forest garden surrounded by an edible hedge to create a self-fertilising and sustainable space.

Now working as head gardener at Halton Park, applying sustainable techniques to the gardens, Tom is ecstatic to have won the award: "It is a great honour to win this award. I believe that horticulture has a key role to play in dealing with the increasing environmental challenges we shall face over the coming years, and it is fantastic that the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and HRH The Prince of Wales have decided to reward and highlight the efforts made by individuals in this regard.”

In addition to the trophy, Tom received a cheque for £500 and a certificate, signed by HRH The Prince of Wales at the presentation which took place on the November 1st at Haberdasher’s Hall in the City of London.

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Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277