Skills award set up for gardeners

The Professional Gardeners' Guild (PGG) Trust has set up an award in memory of Sir David Scott and his wife Valerie Finnis after receiving £40,000 from the Finnis Scott Foundation.

The Finnis Scott Award will be available to professional gardeners who want to do further training or experience working in different garden environments - by undertaking secondments, job-shadowing or an exchange of staff.

The award has been created using interest generated from the £40,000 Finnis Scott fund, which is about £1,000 per annum.

The PGG Trust was set up in 2004 to provide training bursaries to extend gardeners' skills. It aims to raise £250,000 through an appeal, as demand currently outweighs the trust's ability to help.

The appeal total currently stands at £50,000, including a donation from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and funds raised or given by PGG members.

Appeal chairman Anna Matthews said: "We are thrilled with our great start to the appeal but we have more money to raise. Please dig deep and make a contribution to help reach the target."

Times gardening correspondent Stephen Anderton said: "Truly skilled professional gardeners are becoming rarer. We should do everything we can to ensure that today's lack of practical training provision does not result in poorer gardens."

TV gardener Chris Beardshaw said: "The work of the PGG Trust is so valuable, funding and supporting those who wish to develop and expand their skills."

Organisations and individuals willing to help at any level are asked to contact the appeal chairman. See www.pgg.org.uk, telephone Anna Matthews on 01892 783478 or 07788 721534, or email anna@muttley63.freeserve.co.uk.


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