Young Horticulturist of the Year
A prestigious annual competition which attracts over 2000 entrants each year, the winner receives the Percy Thrower Travel Bursary, worth £2,500, provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society. This funds a horticultural trip anywhere in the world. There are prizes at every stage of the competition which is run in three phases: local heats, Regional Finals and the Grand Final.
The 2016 national sponsors of the competiton were the Shropshire Horticultural Society - Platinum sponsors, MorePeople - Gold sponsors, the Horticultural Trades Association and Wyevale Garden Centres. The competition was also supported by a wider range of local and regional sponsors.
The 2016 competition culminated on 7 May with the final taking place at Glasnevin Botanic Gardens, Dublin.
Please click here for the press release documenting the 2016 grand final.
Who can enter?
The competition is open to any horticulturist, living in the UK or Ireland and who is below the age of 30 on 31 July 2017, including all those employed in horticulture or anyone currently studying for a horticultural qualification.
See what some recent finalists say about the competition
When does the competition take place?
The heats start in January each year at colleges, garden centres and anywhere else where competitors may gather. They act as the first filter in the search for winners and test participants' knowledge across a wide range of horticultural subjects, through a PowerPoint presentation of 40 multi-choice questions. Heat winners go forward to one of eight Regional Finals, usually held in March, and the winner of each Regional Final progresses to the Grand Final.
Test your knowledge with some sample questions from the 2015 competition Check your answers
The Regional Finals and the Grand Final have the same public format. A Question Master asks a wide range of horticultural questions, some are on a buzzer, to test out the speed of thinking as well as the depth of knowledge, and some are directed to individual contestants. There are three identification rounds and eight other rounds on specific areas of horticulture. These parts of the competition are held at a wide variety of locations both regionally and nationally.
What about the prizes?
The overall winner receives the Percy Thrower Travel Bursary, worth £2,500, provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society. This funds a horticultural trip anywhere in the world. There are also prizes at every stage of the competition.
Past winners have travelled to every corner of the planet, including North America, Newfoundland, Borneo, Peru and China to study different environments, crops, specific plant groups and habitats. They have returned to provide fascinating and valuable reports for the Institute's journal The Horticulturist and often to progress their careers on the back of these successes. 2011 winner, Suzanne Moss, currently works at RHS Wisley as the Adult Learning Coordinator and used her Travel Bursary to travel to Madagascar to study the native flora.
How to take part?
There are three ways in which you can compete:
· attend one of the heats taking place at a venue in your local area
· in your work place, with an Institute of Horticulture approved supervisor
· Via Skype
The closing date for entry was 1 February 2016.
If you would like to take part contact us with your full name; date of birth and your address and we will get back to you to arrange how you can compete. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
The competition will be launched in October 2016 and culminates in May 2017 with the Grand Final (date and location TBC).
More information about the 2016 dates of heats and Regional Finals.
The Institute is grateful for the support from our 2016 competition national sponsors:
The Shropshire Horticultural Society are sponsors of the Grand Final and the Percy Thrower Travel Bursary.
Details to be announced
The future of the competition
The future of the competition looks bright, with more colleges, organisations and businesses showing an interest every year and more young horticulturists testing themselves to the limits of their knowledge. More information