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Horticulture Apprentices get dug into garden design project

Horticulture Apprentices get dug into garden design project  
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Horticulture apprentices at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall campus have embarked on a garden design project to create an exciting new space for other students and visitors.

The group of 10 level 3 apprentices who are employed in the horticulture industry attend college one day per week and are working together to come up with ideas that will be useful as an educational resource as well as appealing to visitors.

Ideas so far include a Jewel Garden, with bright colours and topiary and a sensory garden with plants of different textures, sounds and smells that will appeal to children and the partially sighted. Other ideas include plants from around the world and landform projects inspired by nearby attraction Northumberlandia, which will take the form of a Hobbit house and a sofa constructed from turf.

As well as designing the area, the apprentices are also responsible for sourcing materials and acting as project managers, liaising with specialist staff from the college and supervising students from the Level 2 Apprenticeship in Horticulture who will be helping with planting.

Catherine Johnston, Horticulture Lecturer at the Kirkley Hall campus said: "It's a great opportunity for the students to get involved in taking responsibility for planning and managing a project from beginning to end. It's given them a chance to see how they can put theory into practice as well as allowing the advanced apprentices to develop skills in managing and supervising people - something that they aren't always able to do in the workplace."

The project is being supported by the college and the Friends of Kirkley Hall charity but the students are seeking sponsorship and donations from other areas. If you would be interested in contributing towards the project, please contact Horticulture Lecturer Catherine Johnston at the Kirkley Hall campus on 01670 841 229.

Northumberland College's Kirkley Hall campus offers a range of Horticulture courses and Apprenticeships in levels 1 to 3. Apprentices benefit from working and earning in the Horticulture sector while studying for a qualification at college one day per week. Horticulture facilities at the campus include over four hectares of gardens, a Victorian walled garden and 1,330m² of greenhouses.