Landscape students chosen for WorldSkills heats at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show

The students chosen to compete in the semi-finals of the WorldSkills UK competition in landscape gardening have been named.

Students from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise Greenmount Campus (CAFRE), Reaseheath College, Bishop Burton College and Sparsholt College will compete in the heats at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park in July where they will build a 2m x 6m garden designed by Alexandra Froggatt.

They are Dean Thomson, Jonathan Buchanan, Ronan McLarnon and Robert Wylie from CAFRE,  Richard Carden from Reaseheath College, Samuel Birks from Bishop Burton College and Andrew Hannam and Aaron Cunningham from Sparsholt College.

According to the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL), which took over as organising partner for this year’s competition, the number of entries was the highest yet. Entrants undertook a theory test and tie-breaker exercise.

The winners at Tatton Park go on to The Skills Show at the Birmingham NEC in November where finalists compete in front of 70,000 people and are in the running to be selected to represent the UK at the next international WorldSkills Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil next year.

The judges are APL chairman Mark Gregory who has been involved in creating more than 120 show gardens, four-times RHS gold medal winner Adam Frost, owner of Bespoke Outdoor Spaces Jody Lidgard and 2011 WorldSkillsUK medal winner Simon Abbott.

Gregory congratulated those who had made it to the heats.

"WorldSkillsUK is the biggest secret that people don’t know about. The competitions inspire young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. The APL is delighted to be organising partner and this demonstrates our on-going pledge of encouraging landscaping excellence and raising the profile of vocational skills."

The two landscaper winners of the competition at WorldSkillsUK 2013 - Dan Brennen and Dan Hanley spoke at the APL awards last month, urging others to get involved.

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