Learning abroad for prize winning plantsman

From left Ben Gregory, management trainee at Wyevale Nurseries, John Everest, Pershore College lecturer and Kyle Ross, student at Pershore College and winner of the Peter Williamson Travel Award.

From left Ben Gregory, management trainee at Wyevale Nurseries, John Everest, Pershore College lecturer and Kyle Ross, student at Pershore College and winner of the Peter Williamson Travel Award.

First published in News

WYEVALE Nurseries in Hereford recently presented Kyle Ross from Pershore College with its prestigious Peter Williamson Travel Award.

The 20-year-old, who is a first year Higher National Diploma (HND) student, scooped the accolade after wowing the judges with a written submission and in an interview.

Adam Dunnett, sales and marketing director at Wyevale Nurseries, explained: “We would like to congratulate Kyle on winning the award. It was designed to encourage a student towards a career in nursery stock production by assisting with a practical placement at a nursery in the Netherlands.

“Kyle has previous practical experience from working at Pennells Nursery in Lincoln and showed an extreme interest and flair for the opportunity offered.

“The Peter Williamson Travel Award was started in memory of Wyevale Nurseries former owner and chairman, Peter Williamson, who passed away in 2011.

“Annually the award is presented to a student at Pershore College in Worcestershire, which was Peter’s own seat of learning in the 1960’s. The award subsidises and organises for the successful applicant to do a period of work in the Netherlands during the college summer vacation, as Peter also did more than 40 years ago.”

Kyle will be working for six weeks during the summer at Ruud van der Werf Nurseries, Boskoop in the Netherlands, which is a specialist grower of clematis and magnolia. He was presented with £500 from Wyevale Nurseries to help pay for his travel costs.

Kyle said: “I can’t believe I have won this award. I am so excited to work at Ruud van der Werf Nurseries. It will be a great learning experience for me. I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Wyevale Nurseries for giving me this opportunity.”

The award was first presented to Ben Gregory, who was a second year horticulture degree student at Pershore, in 2012. He worked at Poppelaars Nurseries in the Netherlands in 2012. Ben is now a management trainee at Wyevale Nurseries.

Wyevale Nurseries is one of the largest family-run wholesale nurseries in the UK. It was established in 1928 by Harry Williamson, a horticulturist and entrepreneur. It became the company it is today under the leadership of his son, Peter.

The Williamsons’ saw the opportunity to sell their product to an undeveloped retail market, creating one of the first garden centres, followed by a chain. In 1987, the retail side needed to expand and the 19 garden centres were sold as a PLC.

The family then turned its focus to Wyevale Nurseries Ltd. It continues to be a family-run business with ownership and joint chairmanship currently being held by the third generation, Heather and Simeon Williamson, with plans for the fourth generation to takeover in the future.

Wyevale Nurseries has a significant product range and is regularly introducing new plants. It offers a large variety of trees, shrubs, hedging, herbaceous and specimen plants to garden centres, landscape contractors, local authorities, foresters and landowners.

For further details about Wyevale Nurseries, which is based in Hereford, please call 01432 845 200 or visit www.wyevalenurseries.co.uk.

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