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Date: 30th January 2018

With over twenty leading employers, professionals and organisations in attendance, Askham Bryan College’s Horticulture Conference succeeded in growing the interest of students and the public in the industry. 

Following inspiring talks from Tamara Bridge, Garden Designer for Norfolk Garden Design named the Royal Horticultural Society’s Young Designer of the Year in 2015 and Jamie Butterworth, an Askham Bryan alumnus and RHS Ambassador, students took part in a landscaping challenge overseen by visitors and exhibitioners.

The students, who worked in groups combining further courses, higher courses and apprenticeships, were given an hour to create an unique garden design using the materials provided first come first served.

Jamie, who currently works for bespoke stone and landscaping product company London Stone, judged the gardens using his expertise in the industry and decided group seven to be the worthy winners.

Jamie said: “All of the designs were amazing – in just an hour the students created beautiful landscapes, featuring diverse combinations of paving, turf and detailing. However, group seven were the stand-out designers with their outstanding use of space and materials, circular stepping stones that curved around a large lawn leading to an old yorkstone bench. The project was really well thought out and delivered expertly!”

The lucky winners were awarded with the shared prize of a £250 London Stone voucher. Additionally, horticultural enthusiasts at the conference were given the opportunity to enter the Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition, supported by the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.

Three finalists were announced under the age of 30, including two students and a staff member, who could go on to compete at the national finals. With almost 50 of the conference’s attendees entering, the regional was the most entered of the competition so far.

The conference was closed by Charles Dowding, the acclaimed innovator of No Dig and author, by giving a talk on his unorthodox gardening methods as well as tips for succeeding in home gardens.

Higher Education Course Manager for Horticulture, Sarah Owen-Hughes, said: “the conference has reminded me of why I am passionate about the industry. Encouraging young people into fascinating careers, which offer overseas travel and excellent salaries, is truly what it’s all about.”

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