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
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
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