Myerscough College Fellow and celebrity horticulturalist & plantswoman, Christine Walkden, has backed the next generation of young horticulturalists, as she paid a visit to the Myerscough Show Gardens at this year’s Southport Flower Show.
Lancashire’s Christine has been a long-time supporter of the College and of course studied at Myerscough back in the 1970s, gaining a National Diploma in Amenity Horticulture in 1978.
She became an Honorary Fellow of the College in 2012 in recognition of her achievements as a horticulturist and plantswoman, both nationally and internationally, along with her other achievements in the education, training and broadcasting sectors.
Myerscough staff and apprentices at the Southport Flower Show welcomed Christine to the College’s gardens, which were both awarded gold by the judges, and showed the standard of work that can be achieved by people of any age wishing to study landscaping or horticulture courses or apprenticeships at Myerscough.
Christine said: ‘’These show gardens are a lovely display, very well executed by Myerscough apprentices, who may have only have done gardens like this for the first time.
‘’What’s interesting about young learners is that you need to cultivate them in the same way as you would a plant. You start them off and drip feed them with enthusiasm and knowledge and from there you end up with people who can produce standards like this.’’
Christine’s visit and words come amid growing calls for career advisors to do more to encourage school leavers into studying such subjects, with warnings that the whole field of horticulture is widely underestimated in terms of its importance for the survival of the planet and the population.
A recent survey showed the real need in the workplace for such land-based courses that Myerscough College offers. Figures show that well over two thirds of horticulture businesses fail to find skilled and qualified workers for their job vacancies – meaning people studying in such areas have an excellent chance of employment at the end of their course.
The photograph shows Christine Walkden in the Myerscough College Show Gardens at the Southport Flower Show.
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by Dave Salmon