Sam Birks, a Bishop Burton College Horticulture student is one of eight semi-finalists who will be competing in the WorldSkills UK Landscape Gardening heats at the RHS Flower show at Tatton Park in July.
The eight students will be required to build a 2m x 6m garden designed by award winning Alexandra Froggatt and will take place over 22 hours across 3 days.
The 2014 event received a record number of entries into the Landscape Gardening competition. Those that entered were put through a tough theory test and the top eight were selected after a tie-breaker exercise.
The winners from Tatton Park will be going on to The Skills Show at the Birmingham NEC, where finalists compete to be named the ‘Best in the UK’ in front of 70,000 people.
Sam, age 18, who is currently in his second year of a Horticulture BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma commented, “I am really pleased about getting through to the semi-finals, and am looking forward to going to Tatton Park and doing the practical work.”
Sue Hosdell, Course Manager & Curriculum Leader added, ‘I am absolutely thrilled for Sam. He is an excellent student and works really hard. The course he is taking provides an all-round experience including design, planting and hard landscaping which they will incorporate in to the competition. This experience will increase his confidence and he will gain so much out of it.”
Sam currently works on a volunteer basis at Sledmere House working with the Head Gardener one day a week, having also completed a two-week work experience there.
Judges for the Landscape Gardening competition include award winning APL Chairman, Mark Gregory who has over 120 show gardens to his name, garden designer and four times RHS gold medal winner Adam Frost, Jody Lidgard, who has run his own landscaping firm for over 18 years and 2011 WorldSkillsUK medal winner Simon Abbott.