Retail nursery to become RHS teaching centre

Bampton Garden Plants near Faringdon, Oxfordshire is the site for a new centre teaching RHS horticulture courses from September.

The retail nursery in West Oxfordshire is building a dedicated classroom and creating soil plots as part of the nursery’s rebuilding programme.

This will be the third centre for the BEST in Horticulture Group, which aims to make horticulture courses more accessible by teaching outside the traditional College environment, and through distance and online learning.

After 28 years as director of the Oxford Botanic Garden (1986-2014), Timothy Walker will be teaching RHS Level 2 qualifications at the new centre at Bampton Garden Plants.

Walker, who presented Botany -a Blooming History for Channel 4,  is also a lecturer in Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford.

Tony Davies, former head of horticulture at Warwickshire College, and director of the BEST Group will be teaching RHS level 2 and 3 Practical Certificates. 

He said: "The industry needs skilled workers, and that means mature career changers as well as young people. The College system doesn’t always suit them, so we take the courses to places they would like to study: private and public gardens, or garden centres like Bampton."


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