Writtle News

Two Writtle College graduates given prestigious horticultural awards

December 2013

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Two Writtle College graduates have been given prestigious prizes from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.

The Earl of Wessex, Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, presented a certificate and a cheque for £250 respectively to Charlotte Rodick and Sarah Hamnvik at the end of the Autumn Court Dinner.

Charlotte and Sarah were given the Worshipful Company of Gardeners’ Prize along with students from only four other institutions.

Charlotte graduated last year with First Class Honours in her Horticulture degree. Her particular area of horticultural interest relates to historic gardens and she wrote her dissertation on the integration of visitor facilities in to historic-designed landscapes.

The 22-year-old, from Liverpool, is now working at the well-known historic landscape of Hestercombe in Somerset to further her practical skills and knowledge in this area.

She said: “It was a real privilege to be invited to this event and have the opportunity to meet others with a passion for horticulture. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, particularly getting to swap my muddy gardening gear for my glad-rags, and really appreciated the recognition of all the hard work that went into my studies."

Sarah, from Woking, Surrey, started her studies at Writtle College in 2010 and also graduated last year with a First Class degree in Horticulture.

In nominating her for the Prize, the College said she had embraced every opportunity to further her horticultural knowledge, working as a horticultural volunteer with the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Programme at the tropical nursery in Kew Gardens.

Sarah is now working as a trainee specialising in orchid culture at the RHS Gardens at Wisley, furthering her knowledge of a plant about which she is passionate.

Sarah said: “It was a great honour to be invited to the Worshipful Company of gardeners' autumn dinner as a nominee. Their support of horticultural students is a great way of acknowledging the hard work and dedication emerging in the new generation of gardeners and their events provide a good platform to connect the students with people in the industry. My award will go towards furthering my specialist studies of the Orchidaceae family, which I hope will be a career path for life.”

Sandra Nicholson, Senior Lecturer in Horticulture, said: “Writtle College students have been awarded this prestigious prize for the last seven years and it is a great honour for them to receive. The College is grateful for such support for our students and for the work we do at the College.”