The Chartered Institute of Horticulture (CIH) has launched the 2016 Young Horticulturist of the Year competition (YHoY). Now is the time for young horticulturists who will be under the age of 30 by July 31 2016 to enter the YHoY heats taking place around the UK and Ireland. The heats are open to students of horticulture and young horticultural professionals working in the industry. The winner of the competition will receive a £2,500 travel bursary from The Percy Thrower Trust, generously provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society, to undertake a trip, anywhere in the world, to study a subject related to their chosen field of horticulture. There are three ways of taking part: attend one of the heats taking place in colleges and venues throughout the Institute’s eight branches, at a work-place with a Chartered Institute of Horticulture approved supervisor or via SKYPE. The closing date for entries is 1 February 2016.
With prizes at every stage of the competition, competitors have a number of chances to get cash rewards for their efforts, plus there are lots of opportunities to meet and network with other young horticulturists along the way. The competition is run in three phases: local heats, regional finals and the Grand Final, each with questions covering a wide range of horticultural subjects. Heat winners go forward to one of eight regional finals, and the winner of each regional final progresses to the Grand Final which will be held on 7 May 2016 at the fabulous Glasnevin Botanic Gardens, Dublin.
Andrew Gill C Hort FCIHort, President of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture said “As ever, I am excited about the launch of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year competition which just gets better each year and I am hugely looking forward to the Grand Final in Dublin. Last year over 1,800 young horticulturists from around the UK and Ireland competed for the title. Since the competition started in 1990 an incredible estimated 25,000 people have participated in this prestigious annual competition which attracts more positive coverage for the profession each year.
We are indebted to our national sponsors: The Shropshire Horticultural Society, which is the major sponsor of the competition and who, through the Percy Thrower Trust, provide the Travel Bursary prize for the winner and also the considerable sponsorship of the Grand Final, the recruitment company MorePeople, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Wyevale Garden Centres Ltd. There are also many regional and local sponsors and I am also delighted for 2016 to welcome The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), as a new Gold national sponsor.
When I see the learning and intelligence of these young horticulturists it strengthens my resolve to ensure that the profession they have committed to attracts the status and respect it deserves from society. Now, fingers on buzzers….!”
The 2015 YHoY winner Jessica Evans, Senior Gardener at National Trust, Tintinhull Gardens in Somerset said “I am delighted to have won the Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015 competition and look forward to using the travel bursary to further my training in horticulture. Having finished second in the competition last year, my over-whelming emotion when the final scores were announced was relief, especially as this was the last year I would be eligible to enter. I would now really like to support the running of the competition, and to encourage others to take part, as it is vitally important to celebrate the quality and knowledge of young horticulturists. I’m not sure yet where the travel bursary will take me, but I will be looking to find best examples of horticultural standards to give myself something to work towards.”
To find out more about the competition and how to take part visit the Young Horticulturist of the Year pages at www.horticulture.org.uk
Join in the discussions with past and present competitors on Facebook CIHort and Twitter @CIHort.
Anyone interested in taking part in, or sponsoring the 2016 competition should contact the Chartered Institute of Horticulture - Email: email@example.com
1. The competition
· This annual competition is organised by the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, the only professional body representing all aspects of horticulture. The Institute founded the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition shortly after it was established as a way of encouraging and rewarding excellence among those starting out in a career in horticulture and today over 1,800 young people under the age of 30 participate each year.
· The 2016 competition is free to enter and was open to any horticulturist who is below the age of 30 on 31 July 2016.
· The competition is run in three phases: heats which take place in January and February, followed by eight Regional Finals held in March and the Grand Final in May. The closing date for entries is 1 February 2016
· Heats are based on multi-choice questions covering a wide range of horticultural topics, run through a PowerPoint presentation. The heats are organised by eight CIH Regional Organisers and take place at colleges, garden centres and anywhere else where competitors may gather. To take part contact the Secretariat - email firstname.lastname@example.org
· For more information, and a trial run at some previous heat questions, visit:
· Heat winners go forward to one of eight Regional Finals held in March, when a Question Master asks a wide range of horticultural questions, some through an on the buzzer round, (like University Challenge), and some directed to individual contestants. Also there are two identification rounds to further test their depth and breadth of knowledge on both plants and pests and diseases.
· The winner of each Regional Final progresses to the Grand Final where the format is the same as for the Regional Finals with questions covering all sectors of horticulture.
· The winner of the Grand Final receives the £2,500 Percy Thrower Travel Bursary, provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society. This funds a horticultural trip anywhere in the world. Previous winners have visited Borneo, China, New Zealand, South Africa, the Himalayas, the Galapagos Islands, the United States, South America and Europe.
2. 2016 national competition sponsors
- Shropshire Horticultural Society/Percy Thrower Trust, they provide the £2,500 Travel Bursary and sponsorship of the Grand Final
- MorePeople - recruitment company
- The Horticultural Trades Association
- Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
- Wyevale Garden Centres
3. The Chartered Institute of Horticulture is interested to hear from companies who would be willing to offer financial, or other sponsorship, at all levels of the 2016 competition. Email: email@example.com
4. The Institute of Horticulture was established in 1984 with the aim of fostering a close relationship between all sectors of professional horticulture (advisory and research, amenity, commercial and education and training) throughout the UK and Ireland. It is the only professional body representing those who work in all aspects of horticulture. It founded the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition shortly after it was established as a way of encouraging and rewarding excellence among those starting out in a career in horticulture.
On 21 July 2014 the Institute was granted a Royal Charter by her Majesty the Queen and became the Chartered Institute of Horticulture (CIH), with many new plans and initiatives to enhance its standing and that of its members.
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture is represented on, and works collaboratively with, other horticultural organisations throughout the industry to unite a growing profession.
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture also administers and supports the Grow Careers initiative set up in 2006 by some of the UK's leading horticulture organisations to promote horticulture as a challenging, dynamic, exciting and rewarding career: www.growcareers.info
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture has eight branches throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as overseas members. Members are linked to the branch where they live but are encouraged to attend meetings arranged in any other branch area.