Writtle College student David Acock has won a national horticultural scholarship for a European study tour.
David has been given the scholarship through The David Colegrave Foundation.
The Ball Colegrave Scholarship - sponsored by Ball Colegrave, the UK's leading distributor of commercial seed and plug plants - provides up to £2,500 for the winner to travel to Europe in order to develop their knowledge and experience in plant production.
David, originally from Northampton, is currently completing a BSc (Hons) Horticulture with Business Management at Writtle College while working as an assistant garden centre manager. He will start a Msc in Horticulture (Crop production), also at Writtle College, in September 2013.
Recipient of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners' Prize last year, he is experienced in several horticultural-based roles, working as a trainee agricultural journalist, a horticultural tutor and trainee garden centre manager.
Delighted to receive the award, he commented: “I want to broaden my horticultural knowledge and open my mind to new and innovative ideas, techniques and practices by visiting and meeting industry figures across Europe.
"I will achieve a greater understanding of the complexities and challenges of the industry from a European level and this will equip me to bring a pool of ideas back to the UK, helping me contribute greatly to our industry in the coming years.”
David is planning a three-part trip around Europe over the summer of 2013. During his trip David plans to travel to Greece to get academic perspectives and scientific understandings on the industry from Thessaloniki University where he will visit lab, botanic gardens and undertake some plant pathology work.
Following this, he will visit the Channel Islands to see several garden centres including a farm on the Island of Jersey and Le Friquet Garden Centre, Guernsey, head office of the Blue Diamond garden centre group.
Finally David will visit Holland to take in the Holland Bulb Market, a visit with a plant seller from Aalsmeer flower auction and attend a meeting with members of PanAmerican seed company.
Stuart Lowen, Marketing Manager at Ball Colegrave and Trustee of the DCF said: “I am delighted for David in being selected to receive this award. David has a real passion for plants and has already demonstrated a good understanding of commercial horticulture. His travel to Europe will give David a much greater insight whilst maintaining his commercial perspective on a number of key areas of horticulture such as plant breeding, research, production and retail.”