Update from Matthew in 2015
I would like to start by thanking the Trustees of the Bowyer Trust for the grant they gave me to put towards my studies at Sparsholt College. I have just completed a Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture and it was one of the best things I have ever done.
The year has been a mixture of study days and plenty of practical experience. The work experience days started out by working on the grounds of Andover College. This could be anything from mowing, mulching, weeding, planting trees and clearing the river banks. All the time we were learning the correct use of our tools and how to maintain them. We also had to look at tasks with 'Health and Safety' in mind as there were many students around the grounds. We had to keep a diary of all the work we did, naming plants etc. and it helped me to look at the woy I did different jobs and to think of ways I could improve. At college we learnt how to maintain and service lawnmowers (pedestrian and ride-on), strimmers and hedge-cutters. I recently took and passed my City and Guilds NPTC qualification. We also learnt how to do some garden design and hard-landscaping. We soon learnt that getting the cement/sand/water ratio correct was crucial!
Study days were really interesting as we covered soil science and plant science. The books I purchased using some of my grant were really helpful, as the assignments went into great depth on these topics. I also had to learn to identify plants using their Latin names (not easy).
I have learnt so much in my yeor at Sparsholt, not just about Horticulture but about myself as well and I am much more confident in taking tasks on and working in a team when required. As I also have a big interest in Agriculture and in the way it ties in with Horticulture I want to build on this and will be returning to Sparsholt in September to take up the Level 2 Diploma in Agriculture for one or possibly two years.
Thank you for helping me to be able to succeed in what I have achieved so far.
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