Writtle College ran a heat of the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition today.
Students taking part had to answer 40 multiple choice questions, set by the Institute of Horticulture, on a wide range of horticulture topics.
For the first time at Writtle College, this year’s competition ended in a tie-break but, after the tie-break questions were put to the participants, Callum Mullins was named the winner.
Callum, 22, from Leicester, who is in his final year of a BSc (Hons) Horticulture degree, will go forward to the regional final on 21 March at Blooms of Bressingham. Rosie Kippen, 20, from Colchester, in her first year of a horticulture degree, was only one point behind him, with third year horticulture student Jon Hayati, 23, from Aberdeen, only one point behind her in the close-run heat!
Sandra Nicholson, Senior Lecturer in Horticulture at the College, said: “We’re really pleased with the number of participants this year – we had 25 students taking part across all three years of the BSc (Hons) Horticulture and a Masters student too. The students were very enthusiastic and it’s great fun – the staff enjoyed having a go to test our knowledge too!”
The College has enjoyed success in the prestigious annual competition in previous years, with alumnus Ben Turner being named Young Horticulturalist of the Year, alumnus James Hearsum (who set up the popular student-led James Hearsum Lecture Series at the College) getting through to the final, and William Stanger, who is now studying a Masters, winning the heat for the last two years.
Attracting over 1,500 entrants each year, the winner of the competition receives the £2,000 Percy Thrower Travel Bursary, provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society, which funds a horticultural tour anywhere in the world. It is open to any horticulturist who is below the age of 30, including those employed in horticulture or anyone studying for a horticultural qualification.
The competition is run in three phases - local heats, Regional Finals and the Grand Final on 13 April at Ness Botanic Gardens.