Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture and UK Worldskills landscaping winner
I was originally working full-time as a grower and farmer in Devon, but wanted to make the most of the education available to me so I joined Sparsholt. I chose it because of the facilities and lecturers. They were very knowledgeable and I could instantly see I would learn a lot from them and be inspired. I felt that being around people with similar interests would be great and that I would fit in well.
I’ve really enjoyed the extra opportunities I’ve been given, such as participating in the Worldskills UK competition and helping to build our College garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Winning a gold medal at Worldskills has been an amazing experience. The ongoing training and competitions have inspired me to push myself further and I am hoping to represent the UK at the international final in Sao Paulo Brazil in 2015. I was also the joint construction manager for our RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden, working with the team to manage the different parts of the garden, ordering materials and bringing the build together – a great experience in a time-pressured situation and our gold medal was a brilliant reward.
Being able to get your industry tickets is also very important to me and something that not a lot of other colleges add to the curriculum; for example the RHS Level 2 practical skills in Horticulture and City & Guilds NPTC tickets in hedge trimmers, strimmers and ride-on mowers etc. The equipment and facilities are great here to learn on and practise our skills ready for industry.
I’m planning to either go self-employed when I finish my course or see if I can expand my knowledge even further by working for a local firm. The course starts you on the path to self-employment with some business management basics which were useful but there is a lot more I want to learn in the industry. Horticulture is amazing as you don’t have to stick to one area; there are so many paths to choose from!
Studying Horticulture at Sparsholt has opened up a whole new world for me.