HBGTP Graduation Day

30 September, 2016

A splendid Graduation Awards Ceremony was held yesterday at English Heritage’s magnificent Grade 1 listed Wrest Park in Bedfordshire. Sixteen trainees graduated this year: nine from the 1-year placement programme and seven from the 2-year Diploma placement programme.

This is the first round of the 2-year Diploma programme and it was a very special moment to see this unique training programme succeed so well. We were delighted to welcome tutors and other members of staff from Capel Manor College to the event.

The day opened with a welcome from English Heritage’s Chief Executive Officer, Kate Mavor. Kate introduced the Scheme and thanked all of the people who had helped the Scheme become what it is today – the host gardens, the tutors, the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Professional Gardeners Trust, The National Trust, The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust and The Barbara and Phillip Denny Trust amongst others. Our guest speaker was Michael Walker from Trentham. Michael is a long-term supporter of the PGG and has acted as Head Gardener in many prestigious gardens throughout the UK. He now manages the gardens at Trentham and is spearheading the major developments on site in the light of the Capability Brown Centenary celebrations. His motivating speech reminded us all of the satisfaction provided by a career in horticulture – and indeed its challenges. It was an opportunity for the friends and families of the trainees to see the rewards that a career in horticulture will offer their loved ones. The trainees in attendance received their certificates and everyone enjoyed meeting and catching-up with friends and colleagues whilst eating jam and cream scones. There was an exhibition of the trainees’ work, and the ceremony was followed by a tour of the site led by John Watkins, EH’s Head of Gardens and Landscape.

We were pleased to welcome Nick Randell from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Nick has been our grants officer from the very start of the programme, 10 years ago. He has been a real champion of training and a great advisor throughout the development of first the HBGBS and now the HBGTP. We were also delighted to welcome Mike Calnan and Kate Nicoll from the National Trust. The NT has sponsored 6 trainees in the second round of this programme and we hope to see them graduate next year.

Other guests included Richard Capewell from Perennial, the Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Fund, Jeremy Garnett from the Professional Gardeners’ Trust and Fiona Crumley from the Professional Gardeners’ Guild.








Destinations of Graduating Trainees

2015-16 Stream 1
Audley End Kate MacColl Training – RBG Kew Diploma.
Audley End Alison Legg Training – RBG Kew Diploma.
Chatsworth Eva Glendinning Plant hunting in New Zealand, volunteering in Botanic Gardens at Christ Church and Dunedin. Returning to seek post in a historic garden.
Gravetye Valeria Valkova RBG Kew, Band A Horticulturist, Arboretum team.
Osborne House Mark Matthews PGG – 3 year garden placement programme. 1st garden Waddesdon Manor.
Scone Palace Lucie Green Travelling to New Zealand.
Sir Harold Hillier Jenny Swatton Looking at the Devon gardens network for her next steps.
Trentham Robyn Tinsley Gardener for the Stoke Royal Hospital.
Wrest Park Rosemary Kippen Upper Gardens Gardener, Wrest Park
2014-16 Stream 2
Cliveden Hugh Fletcher Training – RBG Kew Diploma.
Great Dixter Jonny Bruce Travelling to work at a nursery in the Netherlands.
Myddelton House Helena Dove Senior Gardener, Myddelton House.
Sissinghurst Castle Elizabeth Maynard Gardener, Sissinghurst Castle.
Wrest Park Eleanor Dunn RHS Wisley Diploma.
Wrest Park Tracey-Anne Mayor Seeking garden position.