What course did you study?

I studied the BSc (Hons) Horticulture (Plant Science).

How did you feel the course prepared you for your career ahead?

The course provided me with a sound foundation of plant science, alongside a range of practical experiences. This has supported and enhanced my previous knowledge and experience within the industry, allowing me to further my level of skill and increase my employment options within the industry.

What was the best thing about the course?

The site at Eden is rich in plant species and experts too. It was a great place to learn with such a diverse setting. 

There were many contacts and experts linked to the course tutors and Eden, and their input really enhanced the learning experience. 

What have you gone on to do since graduating?

Directly after the course I travelled to Ecuador and embarked on a work/volunteer placement at ‘La Hesperia’, a conservation reserve in the Cloud forest. 

I have now started working for a charity; The Elmhurst Foundation at Combe Grove, as the deputy manager of the estate team and Combe Grove permaculture. The project is still in its infancy and hopes to develop an organic market garden, wildlife and medicinal gardens, and agroforestry systems, whilst enhancing the biodiversity of the existing 30-acres of woodlands.

The estate provides apprenticeships in horticulture, agriculture and woodland conservation. Currently there are two horticulture apprentices which I have been working with and passing on some of my skills.

Any advice for people considering entering the industry?

I would say that gain as much diverse experience as possible! Try working in different areas of horticulture to broaden your training.

Whatever aspects you are interested in, be bold and get in touch with people and institutions. Start conversations and make contact with as many enthusiasts, experts and businesses as you can. 

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