Wiltshire College Lackham horticulture students win MOD design competition

Horticulture students from Wiltshire College Lackham's design for a garden of remembrance at MOD Lyneham has been chosen by the families of repatriated servicemen and women.

Teams of students from colleges across the region were invited to submit designs for a tranquil environment for visitors at the memorial garden which is being built as part of the development of a new Defence College of Technical Training at the former RAF base. The students from Lackham were delighted that their design was chosen out of all the entries.

Inspiration was a team effort with all 11 students producing their own draft which was then collaborated to create the final design, interpreting the theme of remembrance and reflecting the commitment made by all serving personnel.

Key elements included sandbag walling with planting that can withstand the exposed site, slopes and elegant plantings, and standing stones inspired by the Wiltshire landscape representing the tri-forces in appropriate colours. The main feature is a circle of boots in honour of fallen servicemen and women.

The final design was presented by the students to the families of those repatriated to RAF Lyneham, and once they had voted the Wiltshire College students were invited back and given the news that they had won.

Captain R C Rusbridger said: "The families were particularly taken with the ‘boots’ feature which they recognised as a fitting tribute to the fallen.

"The students found it a challenge to decide on a suitably fitting memorial to reflect the variety of service personnel but resolved that boots are one common part of their uniform."

Horticulture programme manager Aldetha Raymond said: "I am extremely proud of all the hard work, commitment and professionalism of all the students and am looking forward to seeing the completion of the outcome of the students design."

Lackham horticulture student Eleanor James said: "It was a great feeling to find out that we had won and feels good that we can be involved in doing something for those families who have lost someone."

Michelle Holmes said: "It felt amazing to know that our design had been chosen.

"We have all put in such a lot of work since first being invited to be involved on the first day of term last September.

"I feel really quite proud and am now looking forward to seeing it to the end."

The extended diploma students Martin Andre, Tyler Davenport, Chris Dawson, Callum Dodd, Barbara Hollman, Michelle Holmes, Eleanor James, Anthony Lear, Steven Peacock, Andrew Sharp and Ellen White, will all return to MOD Lyneham to help with the build process before the opening ceremony, which is planned for early summer 2016.

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