Two Writtle College students given prestigious awards

November 2012

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

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

Mr Rex Thornborough RD*, Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, presented a certificate and a cheque for £250 respectively to David Acock and William Stanger at the end of the Autumn Court Dinner.

David and William, who both graduated from Writtle College this year, were given the Worshipful Company of Gardeners’ Prize along with students from only three other institutions.

The College nominated David, who read BSc (Hons) Horticulture with Business Management, for his contribution and commitment to the promotion of horticultural education.

Throughout his time at the College, David, originally from Northampton, fully contributed to College life - as a Student Ambassador, he regularly assisted at College Open Days, which are vital in encouraging new applicants to horticulture, and David was an active member of the team organising the popular annual James Hearsum Lecture Series at the College. He also ran the College’s Photography Club.

Since graduating, David has been working as a trainee manager for a garden centre in North London and has gained further experience by taking part in the Guild of Agricultural Journalists, John Deere Training Award 2012.

David said: “The nomination for a prize from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners came as a complete surprise at graduation - my family and I were completely chuffed.

“I am looking forward to my future horticultural career thanks to Writtle College and the staff I came to know over the last three years.”

William Stanger, originally from Loughborough, read BSc (Hons) Greenspace Management at Writtle College, graduating with First Class Honours. He was nominated for his contribution and commitment to the student mentoring scheme. The 21-year-old has continued his studies by undertaking the Masters in Historic Designed Landscapes, also at Writtle College.

As a student mentor, Will gave up much of his valuable time to help and guide other students with their academic studies, despite studying full-time and taking on the role of vice-chair of the Students’ Union. Will also helped with the running of the James Hearsum Lecture Series and gave a presentation at last year’s series on the travel bursaries he received. These enabled him to travel around England and France visiting 20 stunning gardens and landscapes, including many top National Trust venues, Monet’s Garden and the gardens and park at Versailles. He will be giving another presentation as part of this year’s series on the Floriade, a giant flower show in Holland that only happens every 10 years.

Will said: “I'm thankful and honoured to have received this award and to be invited to such a prestigious event. It was an excellent way to finish my degree and to be rewarded for my handwork and diligence."

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.”