Gardening skills are on the rise - The Evesham Observer

Gardening skills are on the rise

Evesham Editorial 11th Oct, 2020   0

A GARDENING course at Pershore College has seen dramatic growth as a new generation of green-fingered enthusiasts seek to expand their skills.

The Level 2 Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Practical Horticulture course regularly attracts 24 students annually – but has this year has seen 50 people sign up.

It comes as the nation spent significantly more time at home during lockdown and gardening became a new favourite pastime for many.

The demand for the course has led Pershore College, which is part of college group WCG, to put on an extra session to cater for the additional students.

The age range taking the classes is vast, with participants ranging from their early 20s up to the age of 70.

It has a strong emphasis on practical activities such as general gardening tasks, vegetable plots, soil testing, plant identification, pruning and plant care – all vital skills for professional or amateur gardeners.

The course has seen people join who range from looking to retrain for new careers, keen amateurs hoping to build their skills and those already working in horticulture.

The part-time course takes place on Wednesday’s at Pershore College, which is nationally renowned for its expertise in horticulture.

There are no entry requirements and anyone who has a keen interest in plants and gardens can study for the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture.

Mike Roberts, lecturer in Horticulture and Landscape Design at Pershore College, said: “The demand for this year’s course has been quite incredible and you can certainly look towards the resurgence in gardening at home as one reason for this.

“As a result of the demand, we have had to expand our provision to be able to cater for the 50-student cohort, which far exceeds our usual annual sign-ups for this course.

“We have seen a wide range of people join the course. They all at different stages in their life and hold various goals for completing the course, proving that gardening really is for anyone

“We’ve seen a significant amount of amateur gardeners join us who want to hone their horticultural skills and assess them against professional standards.

“The RHS qualifications are fantastic to have on your CV and are a badge of honour for anyone ranging from amateur gardeners to experienced horticulturists.

“It’s definitely an exciting time for gardening in the UK, with a whole new generation of enthusiasts being introduced to the profession in recent months.”

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