Nicholas Russell from Pershore College has recently (May, 2016) been presented with Wyevale Nurseries’ Peter Williamson Travel Award.
The 25-year-old, who is in his second year of a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture, scooped the accolade after wowing the judges with a written submission and an interview.
Steve Ashworth, director at Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford, explained: “We would like to congratulate Nicholas on winning. The award 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.
“Nicholas won the award by displaying a spirit of adventure backed up by knowledge of and commitment to horticulture as a career. Nicholas also stood out because he was the lead student behind the college’s successful gold medal winning design for the Ideal Home Show.
“The Peter Williamson Travel Award was started in memory of Wyevale Nurseries former owner and chairman, Peter Williamson, who very sadly 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.”
Nicholas will be working for six weeks during the summer at a Dutch herbaceous nursery. He was also presented with £500 from Wyevale Nurseries to help pay for his travel costs.
Nicholas said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. This opportunity offered by Wyevale Nurseries will extend my experience from my Welsh origins and a Pershore College horticultural education to the hub of the European nursery world and my prime interest, which is herbaceous production. I will come back much wiser, I’m sure.”
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. Ben is now the Product Development Coordinator at Wyevale Nurseries.
This year a second presentation was also made to 21-year-old, Christopher Horton, who is in his first year studying for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticultures at Pershore College, to offer him a four-week work placement at Wyevale Nurseries this summer.
Wyevale Nurseries is one of the largest family-run wholesale nurseries in the UK. It was established in 1930 by Harry Williamson, a horticulturist and entrepreneur. It became the company it is today under the leadership of his son, Peter, who passed away in 2011.
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, visit www.wyevalenurseries.co.uk, follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WyevaleNurs or log on to www.facebook.com/WyevaleNurs.