Horticulturalist, Steven Coghill, accepts honorary degree

November 2021

Image for press release - Steven Coghill wearing Honorary Degree uniform

Steven Coghill, Head Horticulturalist at King's College, Cambridge, has been awarded an honorary degree by Writtle University College (WUC) in Essex.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Middleton said: "Steven has long standing links with Writtle University College. We are delighted to award him an honorary award, in recognition of his inspirational work and ongoing commitment to educational opportunities."

Steven studied horticulture at WUC in the 1980s.

Following the completion of his HND, he began an impressive and varied career, working with stunning, historical green spaces. These include Braxted Park in North Essex, Otley College and Glemham Hall in Suffolk.

Seventeen years ago, he moved to his current position as Head Horticulturalist for Kings College's Cambridge.

At King's College, Steven champions forward-thinking, sustainable working methods. In 2020, he made international headlines by turning one of Cambridge's most iconic lawns into a thriving wildflower meadow with a diverse ecosystem.

Students studying WUC's Cambridge-based Level Two RHS course work on the stunning estate, overseen by Steven's team.

The RHS course is just one step in Steven's work to champion education within the horticulture sector. He has worked with WUC to support HND programmes and an apprenticeship scheme.

Steven said: "It is a great honour to accept Writtle University College's degree in recognition of my commitment in promoting education and training in amenity horticulture.

"The importance of well designed, well managed green spaces and their significance to mental well-being of the broader community is well recognised. In order to manage these spaces, we require a new generation of capable, technically and strategically equipped horticulturists to take on the challenges of the 21st century.

"Education and training provided by WUC form a cornerstone in the making of this new generation."

Writtle University College has been at the forefront of land-based courses since 1893. In 2020, it became the first educational institution in the UK to offer degrees in regenerative agriculture and will launch a highly anticipated MBA in Regenerative Food Systems in February 2022. For more information on WUC's agriculture and horticulture courses, visit writtle.ac.uk.