Apprentices are digging into garden design project

Catherine Johnston, horticulture lecturer at the Kirkley Hall campus, with a group of horticulture apprentices.
Catherine Johnston, horticulture lecturer at the Kirkley Hall campus, with a group of horticulture apprentices.
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Horticulture apprentices at Kirkley Hall have embarked on a scheme to create an exciting new space for other students and visitors.

Ideas so far include a jewel garden, with bright colours and topiary, and a sensory garden with plants of different textures, sounds and smells that will appeal to children and the partially sighted.

As well as designing the area, the group of 10 level three apprentices – who are employed in the horticulture industry and attend the Northumberland College campus one day per week – are also responsible for sourcing materials and acting as project managers.

They are liaising with specialist staff at the college and supervising students from the level two apprenticeship in horticulture, who will be helping with the planting.

Catherine Johnston, horticulture lecturer at Kirkley Hall, said: “It’s a great opportunity for the students to take responsibility for planning and managing a project from beginning to end.

“It’s giving them a chance to see how they can put theory into practice as well as allowing the advanced apprentices to develop skills in managing and supervising people – something that they aren’t always able to do in the workplace.”

The project is being supported by the college and the Friends of Kirkley Hall charity, but the students are seeking sponsorship and donations from other areas.

If you would be interested in contributing to the project, call Catherine at the campus on 01670 841229.