Gardening charities to train new generation of horticulturists
The country’s leading gardening charities, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), have joined forces to create a programme to fund the training of 12 horticultural trainees over the next three years.
The newly created NGS Traineeship programme will identify four trainees a year to take part in the prestigious RHS horticultural training programme. Each trainee will work at one of the four RHS gardens – Wisley, Surrey; Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire; Hyde Hall, Essex and Rosemoor, Devon – for the duration of the 12-month course.
During the programme the trainees will gain a broad range of practical skills as they experience a variety of horticultural disciplines, including how to cultivate ornamental plants, how to work within glasshouses and how to adapt to the specific challenges of fruit and rock gardening.
Unlike other RHS trainees, the four NGS trainees will be able to experience the challenges and thrills private gardeners face as they prepare to open their gardens to the public as part of the NGS Open Gardens programme. For two weeks in May the trainees will work with private gardeners to gain valuable insights into their preparations ahead of National Gardens Weekend in June.
Trainees who successfully complete the programme will be equipped with the skills and experience, gained from working with RHS Curators and their horticultural teams across the four RHS Gardens, to build careers in horticulture.
Speaking about the RHS/NGS partnership, RHS Executive Vice President Jim Gardiner said “I am thrilled that the RHS and NGS have come together to offer this wonderful opportunity to budding horticulturists.
“The creation of these NGS Traineeships is yet another example of horticultural organisations coming together to provide more people will the skills they will need to thrive in what I consider to be the most enjoyable and stimulating profession in the world. The partnership also underscores our commitment, expressed in the Horticulture Matters report, to help more people forge careers in horticulture.
“The RHS already enjoys a hugely positive relationship with the NGS, but the creation of the traineeships really reinforces our joint aim to ensure that everyone has access to the wonders of gardens, gardening and horticulture.”
Of the new partnership Penny Snell, National Gardens Scheme Chairman said: “We see this initiative as the basis for an exciting new partnership between the RHS and NGS and emphasises our commitment to training young gardeners for a career in horticulture”
RHS Ambassador Alan Titchmarsh, who has tirelessly championed support for young gardeners said: “The announcement of this new partnership between our two great gardening charities is wonderful news for aspiring gardeners and can only help raise the profile of gardening as a career.
As with all RHS trainees, to be considered for the programme the NGS trainees will need to hold a Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture or similar and have at least six months of practical horticultural experience in a professional environment.
The first four NGS trainees will begin their training in September 2014.