Gardeners eligible for Europe scholarship

National Trust gardeners are being offered the chance to learn about the design, restoration and care of historic gardens on placements in Europe.

The overseas study is being made possible by funding from the Martin McLaren European Gardens Scholarship scheme, which has been transferred to the management of the National Trust.

Bursaries will now be offered to trust gardeners and to fund placements at trust gardens for gardeners who work on the Continent.

The European Gardens Scholarship programme was set up in 1991 by Nancy McLaren in memory of her late husband, Martin.

National Trust head of gardens Mike Calnan said: "The Martin McLaren scholarships make it possible for our gardeners to extend their skills and knowledge in topics ranging from conservation and plantsmanship in historic gardens to interpretation, public involvement and the impact of climate change on gardens."

He added: "The bursaries allow us to meet the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence for placements in Europe lasting up to three weeks. They also provide the opportunity for us to host visits from European gardeners to National Trust gardens.

"We are immensely grateful to Mrs McLaren for her generosity and for her confidence in the trust's ability to carry on the scheme in her husband's name."

National Trust gardeners selected for the scheme in 2009 include those from Lindisfarne, Osterley Park, Shugborough and Nymans.

Their areas of study will range from research into 18th century Swedish garden design to sustainable growing practices in nurseries in Belgium and Holland.

She said: "The National Trust has been involved in the scheme for many years and I feel honoured that it should accept the European Gardens Scholarship. I wish it all possible success."

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