Trainee landscapers battle it out to reach WorldSkills UK final in the autumn

Young landscapers from colleges and industry battled it out to build a garden in six hours during the Malvern Spring Gardening Show.

Competition: entrants had to build a garden in six hours - image: HW
Competition: entrants had to build a garden in six hours - image: HW

The 26 landscapers took part in the WorldSkills UK landscape gardening competition heats.

The competitors, all trainees, were expected to build a 6sq m garden during the heats, which are run by the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) and sponsored by Marshalls.

The top five students from the first heat of the competition were Ryan Neveu from George-Stone Gardens, Darren Cumming from Association of Professional Landscapers member the Essential Earthmen, Ben Skinner from Chichester College, David Harvey from the Essential Earthmen and Arran John Tricker who studied at Sparsholt College.

The competition was open to those undertaking qualifications up to level three in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, up to level six in Scotland or those with up to seven years of experience in a working environment.

BALI project manager Angela Radley said: "It was fantastic to see so many entries this year. We had some very cold wet conditions so all credit to the competitors, staff and judges for keeping a cheery and competitive atmosphere."

BALI introduced live commentary to this year's event, which proved popular with spectators, added Radley. "Many didn't realise that such a competition existed," she explained.

The landscape gardening competition is part of a set of more than 70 skills contests called WorldSkills UK that run across different industries.

Winners from regional heats will go forward to a national final, which will be held at Malvern's autumn show on 25-26 September.

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