Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 12:15

A graduate of Eden Project Learning, in partnership with Cornwall College, has won a prestigious Student Design Award at the fifth annual Society of Garden Designers Awards.

Richard Riddell, who graduated from the Eden Project Learning Garden Design course last year (2016), received the accolade at a glittering ceremony at the Landmark Hotel in London's Marylebone on Friday (January 27).

Richard won the Student Design Award for commercial projects for his design of a new contemporary parkland at the Royal William Yard, Plymouth that he completed during his final year on the course.

He said: “I’m delighted to have won the Student Design Award, it will hopefully give me a real head start for the next stage of my career. I began this course as a garden design novice and this is testament to the quality of the course and the teaching.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the course and the whole experience of studying at Eden and Duchy College has been great. They are both inspirational places in which to learn."

Gordon Seabright, Eden’s managing director, said: "It’s great to see Richard’s work being recognised with this prestigious award and we wish him well in all his future ventures. Richard’s success is another string to the bow of Eden Project Learning, a partnership that continues to go from strength to strength."

Matt James, landscape design lead at Cornwall College, said: “The course team is delighted with Richard’s success. He worked extremely hard to create a very professional and sensitive design proposal considering the historic context.

“This is the second time in only two years that one of our HND graduates has collected this award and without doubt it shows our students and graduates create some of the best garden design work in the country.”

The winners are chosen by a panel of independent and respected experts, including designers, academics, journalists and horticultural professionals.

The student awards were decided by Arabella St John Parker, Houses & Gardens Editor for Homes & Gardens magazine, and top garden designers Andy Sturgeon and Debbie Roberts.

The student award is open to anyone studying garden and landscape design at further or higher education level.

In giving the award to Richard, the judges commented: “A very balanced design which felt very responsive to its site. The designer has a clear understanding of how to organise space both contained and open. Excellent graphics which allowed for a very readable plan. A very competent and comprehensive presentation.”

Last summer, a group of garden design students studying at Eden won the opportunity to create a show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The team won a competition, run by the Royal Horticultural Society and BBC Local Radio, which called for budding designers to come up with a “Feel Good Front Garden” for the show.

Eden Project Learning is a partnership between Eden and the Cornwall College Group. It offers a range of degree-level courses in subjects including horticulture and garden design, contemporary storytelling and performance and event management.

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