Following stiff competition Lydia Mackay − a second year BSc horticultural student at Pershore College − won the West Midlands and South Wales regional heat of the Young Horticulturist of the Year and a cheque for £150.
Jointly sponsored by ICL and horticultural distributors BHGS, and hosted by Pershore College, this regional heat is part of a national quiz competition organised by the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.
Originally from Devon, Lydia has a particularly keen interest in plant sciences and botany and particularly shone in the competition’s science round.
“The Young Horticulturist of the Year competition annually attracts around 2000 entrants under the age of 30 who are studying or working in the UK horticultural industry,” explains Steve Hughes, area technical sales manager at ICL. “Free to enter, the competition has been running for over 25 years. Lydia will now battle it out with seven other regional finalists at the 2016 grand final, to be held on 7 May at Glasnevin Botanic Gardens, Dublin.”
Acting branch vice chairman of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, Josh Egan-Wyer said; “The competition aims to encourage young horticulturalists to excel while providing an opportunity for regional winners to promote themselves within the industry. The first prize – the Percy Thrower Travel Bursary of £2,500 kindly donated by the Shropshire Horticultural Society – provides a possibly once in the lifetime opportunity to combine travel with horticulture.”
While Josh took second place in the regional final, Wyl Durrant of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens came third.