(L-R) Second place Danielle Newbery, third placed Craig Kitching, heat winner Chris Parsons, Horticulture lecturer at East Durham College Dawn James and Over 30 category winner Sean Heslop

Students Take Part in Young Horticulturist of the Year 2014 Heats

Fri, 2002-08-23 01:00

East Durham College’s Houghall Campus today hosted the local heats of The Institute of Horticulture’s Young Horticulturist of the Year (YHOY) 2014 competition.

This first round of the prestigious national competition saw Houghall students, past and present, compete in a multiple choice quiz to see who would advance to the Northern England regional finals.

Former Houghall student Christopher Parsons, 23, from Heighington, won the competition heat with a total of 33 point; followed by EDC students Danielle Newbery, 18, from Darlington in second place and Craig Kitching, 17, from Shotton Colliery took third.

Christopher, who is already a two time grand finalist, and now works as a freelance landscaper, will now travel to Stockbridge Technology Centre in Selby, North Yorkshire on 22nd March to take on other local heat winners; where they will face a host of horticulture-related questions both in a buzzer format and asked one-to-one Mastermind style.

Dawn James, lecturer for Arboriculture and Horticulture at East Durham College was happy to see Christopher take the top prize and hopes he can advance further in the competition.

Dawn said: “Christopher has done fantastic to take this local heat. He left the College three year ago now, but still champions the work done here as a thank you for all the help he got whist studying with us that has helped to get him to where he is today. We hope he can continue to fly the flag for the College in the rest of the competition.”

The winner from the next stage will then take on seven other regional heat winners in the grand final at John Innes Centre in Norwich on 10th May.

The Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year competition, open to young people under the age of 30, 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 that is awarded for first place.

The initial heats are taking place across Great Britain and Ireland from early January until late February 2014.