James Hearsum

WRITTLE College student James Hearsum has won the 2009 regional heat of the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition.The third year BSc horticulture student at the Chelmsford-based college was one of five students from colleges across the eastern region who took part in the competition, which took place at Shuttleworth College in Bedfordshire.

WRITTLE College student James Hearsum has won the 2009 regional heat of the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition.

The third year BSc horticulture student at the Chelmsford-based college was one of five students from colleges across the eastern region who took part in the competition, which took place at Shuttleworth College in Bedfordshire.

Mr Hearsum said he was “very pleased” to have won against a strong competition, where his lead was “due mainly to my speed in the buzzer rounds”.

“This competition is just one example of how the industry is very good at supporting people early in their careers. It is a great opportunity for all young people in horticulture and I look forward to a challenging National Final,” he said.

Mr Hearsum, who received �80 as the winner of the regional final, is now preparing for the national final, to be held on May 9 at the National Botanical Garden of Wales.

Second place at the regional final went to Jenny Billin representing Easton College in Norfolk. She will be starting her 'top up' to a BSc (Hons) in horticulture at Writtle College in the autumn.

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The competition, organised by the Institute of Horticulture is open to anyone involved in horticulture under 30 years of age, including anyone studying for a horticultural qualification. Every year it receives entries from over 1,000 young horticulturists.

The winner of the Young Horticulturist of the Year final will receive a �2,000 Percy Thrower Travel Bursary, which can be used by the winner to organise a horticultural tour anywhere in the world.

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