A team of students who are currently studying horticulture courses at East Durham recently won a prestigious gold medal for the Best Horticultural College exhibit at the recent Gateshead Summer Flower Show that took place from the 30th July to 1st August 2010
The show took place at Gateshead Central Nursery at Lobley Hill, and is one of the biggest flower shows in the UK. This year was extra special as the show is celebrating its 20th year and was bigger than ever with over 30,000 visitors. Around 150 traders exhibited everything from hand-made craftwork to useful garden tools and there were also over 600 amateur exhibitors competing in categories ranging from garden vegetables to exotic floral art displays. One of these keen exhibition teams was East Durham College Houghall Campus’ team which was comprised of seven work based learning Apprentices. All students are all currently on the Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture, bar one member who is studying the Level 2 diploma in Greenkeeping.
The talented students created a ten-metre by ten-metre garden which included a water feature, leek trench, raised seasonal bedding, floral arch, patio area and even a miniature golf course! The garden clearly went down well as not only did the it receive a coveted gold medal, but also caught the attention of Ray Beckwith, one of the judges at the show. Mr Beckwith stated after the awards were handed out that: “It was exceptional and in my opinion is the best education exhibit we have ever had.”
The students all worked very hard to complete the garden in just three days. Horticultural Tutor/Assessor at East Durham College, Alan McManus said: ““The students showed professionalism beyond their years; I couldn’t believe that learners of that age could build a garden of such a high standard, they were a credit to the College.”
The team were made up of the following members: Christopher Raine, 16, from Sherburn Village Durham , Jordan Patterson, 17, from Tow Law, Graig McCormick, 17, from Ferryhill, Adam Birks, 18, from Gilesgate Durham, Paul Watson, 18, from Ushaw Moor Durham, Liam Anthony, 19, from Gilesgate Durham, Kallum Anderson, 19, from Bishop Auckland and Daniel Johnson, 17, from Plawsworth Durham.
One of the team members, Christopher Raine commented: “It was a great experience. I really enjoyed building the garden from scratch and its great to see it finished in 3 days. I got the chance to build the raised beds, plant some bedding, plant the leeks and lay the turf for the golf green. All of the lads were really chuffed that we got a gold medal.”
East Durham College provides the local area with a wide variety of environment training and environment courses. As well as the horticulture courses, East Durham College also runs many arboriculture courses over a variety of levels.
East Durham College operates across two campus and many local community venues, as well as providing work force development within individual work places across the region.