Chris Parsons with his Young Horticulturist of the Year 2014 Northern Regional Final certificate

Third Time Lucky For Former Student Chris?

Thu, 2002-09-12 01:00

Saturday March 22nd was another superb demonstration of horticultural knowledge, in all its strange guises for Chris Parsons, as he won this year’s IOH Young Horticulturist of the Year 2014 Northern Regional Final.

Chris has won the regional final three times in the last four years against stiff opposition and won the first prize of £150 plus a spade and fork set sponsored by Bulldog Tools. With an audience of more than 40 sponsors, employers and family to support them, the eight contestants showed themselves to be amongst the best young horticulturists in the North of England.

The final was held at the independent research station, Stockbridge Technology Centre near Selby and the Director, Graham Ward and his staff provided a fabulous location for the young people. He gave competitors and visitors an inspiring presentation and a conducted tour of the research facilities, highlighting some of the more important research being carried out for farmers and growers. The prizes were presented by Graham Ward and Nick Smith, the newly appointed Director for the Harrogate Flower Shows, our major regional sponsor.

Chris was competing against seven of the best young horticulturists from across the IOH Northern Region, with nearly 140 students and employees having taken part from seven different colleges and organisations in the initial round of the competition in January and February, and he will now go on to the Grand Final at the John Innes Centre, Norwich on May 10th to compete against the seven other Regional winners from across Britain and Ireland for the coveted Percy Thrower Trust £2000 Travel Bursary and a chance to travel anywhere in the world to study horticulture.

The Regional Final contestants, in place order, were:

1st  - Chris Parsons, an ex-student from East Durham College

2nd – Peter Edge from Alnwick Gardens

3rd – Sian Nichol from Northumberland College

4th  – Hannah Wilson from The Himalayan Gardens
5th -  Katie Benallick from the University of Sheffield

6th – Adam Robinson from Askham Bryan College

7th – Jay Neild from Shipley College

8th – Jack Grice from The Garden Centre Group