The 2017 Young Horticulturist of the Year Regional Finals have come to an end and the eight regional finalists are ready for the Final on 6 May at the University Centre Shrewsbury.
The eight regional finals took place during March at some fantastic horticultural locations in the UK and Ireland. Those going forward to this year’s competition final have already shown themselves to have outstanding dedication and passion for horticulture.
This year, a number of competitors from previous years are once again in the among the finalists, hoping to be in with the chance to take home the £2,500 travel bursary.
Flying the flag for Scotland is Lachlan Rae. Lachlan took part in last year’s final coming in fourth, only just missing out on third place during the final few questions. This year we also see Josh Egan-Wyer from Pershore competing for West Midlands & South Wales after coming third in the 2015 competition. Representing the Eastern Branch in this year’s final is Fern Champney from Writtle College. This isn’t the first-time Fern has been a part of the competition either – she came third in 2016 and is back to test her knowledge once again. Maybe this will be the year one of them claims the prize!
The 2017 competition newcomers are Matthew Brewer from RHS Gardens Harlow Carr in the North, Nathan Foulds joining us from Reaseheath representing the North West &North Wales, and Peter Adams from RHS Rosemoor in the South West. Representing Ireland this year is Egle Zintuke from the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin and for the South East we have Julia Andersson from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The competition wouldn’t be possible without the sponsors. Providing its support for 2017 is headline sponsor, The Shropshire Horticultural Society, that generously provide sponsorship for the competition final and Percy Thrower Travel Bursary. Responsible for this year’s competition posters and much more are MorePeople. a specialist recruitment business that operates across all sectors of horticulture. Also providing financial contributions to the competition is the HTA.
“The HTA is proud to support the CIH Young Horticulturist of the Year competition. Young horticulturists are the life of our industry and through initiatives such as this we can help to encourage the next generation of ambassadors into this vibrant and diverse sector.” Carol Paris, HTA Chief Executive.
Sponsoring the heats and regional finals in Ireland are Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, an Irish state agency with the aim of promoting sales of Irish food and horticulture both abroad and in Ireland itself.