Writtle News

Four receive top prize from Geoff Hamilton's New Gardeners' Foundation

September 2011

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Four undergraduate students recently received bursaries of £1000 each courtesy of the Geoff Hamilton New Gardeners' Foundation.

The criteria for applying students to the Foundation are simply for students to have enthusiasm, motivation and dedication to the world of horticulture. This year, the four students to benefit from the bursary were Will Stanger third year BSc (Hons) Green Space Management, Joe Archer second year BSc (Hons) Horticulture, Sarah Hamnvik second year BSc (Hons) Horticulture and Charlotte Rodick second year BSc (Hons) Horticulture.

Will Stanger commented about how he has spent his bursary: “I travelled during the summer break this year and visited a number of gardens in the UK and France including: Hidcote, Sissinghurst, Monet and Gardens of Versailles. During my visits I was able to conduct research and undertake case studies, as well as taking plenty of photos to supplement my dissertation. My bursary from the Foundation will contribute towards my travel costs from visiting these gardens.”

Geoff Hamilton (1936-1996) was an English gardener and broadcaster, best known as a presenter for BBC 2 Gardeners’ World. Geoff’s legacy lives on at Writtle College, where he studied horticulture in 1958, through the generous bursary contributions the Geoff Hamilton New Gardeners’ Foundation offer to College students studying both Further and Higher Education. The trustees of the Geoff Hamilton Gardeners’ Foundation are Lynda Hamilton, Geoff’s widow, and Tony Hamilton, Geoff’s twin brother.

As the largest provider of horticulture education in the country, Writtle College is well recognised for the calibre of its horticultural graduates. For many years the Geoff Hamilton Foundation has been donating bursaries to Writtle College students. No stipulation regarding the spending of the bursary is given to the successful students, however most use the money to contribute towards work placements or visits to non-curriculum gardens.

Two other students have used their bursary towards work placements costs at Kew gardens, which will ultimately aid their career development.

After meeting the students and presenting the bursaries, the Foundation Trustees were given a tour of the gardens, plant collection and campus, including the accommodation halls named after Geoff Hamilton.

The Geoff Hamilton New Gardeners’ Foundation has pledged to continue its support for students studying Horticulture at Writtle College for years to come.

Applications for the bursary will be launching again for 2011/2012 academic year. It is open to both Further and Higher Education Writtle College Horticulture students. The closing date is 1 February 2012 due to an early Easter.

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(L-R) Mick Lavelle - Lecturer in Horticulture at Writtle College, Joe Archer, Sarah Hamnvik, Trustee -Tony Hamilton, Trustee - Lynda Hamilton, Charlotte Rodick and Will Stanger.