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Horticulture Students Celebrate Malvern Spring Festival Success

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The University of Worcester and Pershore College are celebrating after the college was awarded a Gold Medal and Best in Show at the prestigious RHS Malvern Spring Festival earlier this month.

The college’s trade stand and show garden – Diamond Inspiration – was also given the Royal seal of approval from HRH Princess Anne.

The garden was designed by Nic Kirkham, a second year BSc Horticulture student, to celebrate 60 years of the college. The garden’s design uses sculptures to illustrate Pershore College’s achievements, developments and growth areas during its 60-year history.

Lecturers and students worked tirelessly to source and manage materials by visiting nurseries and quarries and liaising with industry.

The University of Worcester’s Horticulture courses are taught in partnership with Pershore College, which is the West Midlands centre for the Royal Horticultural Society. The college’s 150 acre site provides students with unique opportunities for practical experience, experimentation and observation.

Tamsin Jones, Acting Principal at Pershore College, says of the recent success: “The gold-medal winning stand and garden is a reflection of the fantastic partnership between Pershore College and the University of Worcester.

“As well as BSc and HND students taking the lead in designing and building the show garden, our Organic and Sustainable Horticulture degree students also grew a range or organic plants and herbs for sale in the trade stand.”

She continues: “The partnership between the college and the university is a wonderful example of institutions working together effectively to provide high quality teaching at a range of levels, raising aspirations and providing a clear progression route for those students who want to go on to higher education.”

Garden designer Nic adds: “I was so chuffed to have won the gold medal but to win Best in Show is fantastic. I thought we deserved it as we put so much effort in and I’m really proud of the garden and how it has turned out. It was also a real honour to show Princess Anne around the garden.

“It’s great for the college and was a real team effort – everyone did a great job and so many people helped us with donations and advice so I’d like to thank everyone involved.

“We spoke to a lot of past students who gave us a real insight into the history of Pershore College and the significance that it has had on the horticulture industry. Wherever we go people know about Pershore and its students that have made a huge impact on the horticulture industry worldwide.

“We started on the project in November, so it’s been a long process and we’ve put in a lot of hours over the two weeks to build and complete the garden, but it’s all been worth it.”