Houghall Student Through To Young Horticulturist of the Year Regional Final

Mon, 2001-06-04 01:00

Sean Mullen, David Kennedy and Ryan Cowell

A local horticulture student is in the running to battle it out to become The Institute of Horticulture’s Young Horticulturist of the Year (YHOY) after gaining the top spot at the competition’s local heats.

The students and apprentices studying Horticulture at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus, in Durham, managed to gain the top three spots in the Durham heats with first place qualifying for the regional final.

The Durham Heat winner was David Kennedy, aged 21, from Bowburn, with 25 points, Sean Mullen, aged 19, from Gateshead, just missed out on top spot coming second with 24 points and Ryan Cowel,l aged 18, from Chester le Street, was third with 22 points.

The YHOY Northern Regional Final, where David will be competing against the winners from seven other north east local heats, will take place on Sunday March 25th at Alnwick Castle Gardens, Northumberland.

The students will be challenged by a Question Master asking a wide range of horticultural questions, some on a buzzer, some directed to individual contestants, with three identification rounds to further test the contestants.

Dawn James, Curriculum Leader for Land and Plant Studies at the College, said: “I am very pleased that the students managed to gain the places they did, they all worked really hard and there were some very close runner-ups.

“I wish David the best of luck for the Regional Finals in March.”

The winner of the Regional Final will then go on to compete at the 2012 Grand Final being held at the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh on Saturday May 5th.

The Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year competition is forecast to be the biggest ever, with nearly 2,000 young horticulturists, who are either studying horticulture or working in the industry, taking part.

Prizes valued at more than £10,000 are on offer including the coveted Percy Thrower Travel Bursary of £2000, which is sponsored by the Shropshire Horticultural Society. The initial heats will be taking place across Great Britain and Ireland from early January until late February 2012.

Chris Parsons, who was a student at East Durham College, was last year’s Northern regional winner and came second in the Grand Final. He is now on a work placement at Kew Gardens in London.