Ben all set for European adventure

By Nigel Slater 31/05 Updated: 31/05 12:29

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Buy photos » Winning applicant Ben Gregory (second from left) is pictured with Wyevale Nurseries managing director Steve Ashworth (left), Wyevale container plants director Steve Reed (centre) and Pershore College lecturer John Everest (far right). (s)

A VALE student is set for a European adventure after being given the chance to study the world of horticulture in Holland.

Gardening enthusiast Ben Gregory, who is in his second year at Pershore College, has been the offered the prestigious internship and will spend six weeks studying in nurseries in Boskoop, the centre of the Dutch horticulture industry.

Pershore College students interested in travelling to Holland had to put in a written submission based on why they should be allowed the chance to go across Europe and Ben's entry proved successful following an interview.

The 20-year-old horticulture student said he was delighted to be awarded a chance of a lifetime and was looking forward to the trip.

"The opportunity to work in Holland was unmissable," Ben said. "The experience is just going to be unreal. It has been my dream since I was young.

"I have been planning and wanting to do the degree course I’m on since I was 14 or 15 and I was dreaming about going to work in Holland and this was exactly what I wanted to do.

"The industry is centred around Holland. All the latest technology and all the new ways of doing things will be started in Holland generally, and people will follow what they do."

The award was offered by Hereford based Wyevale Nurseries and it is the first time the college has handed one of their students such a prize.

The internship will now run annually and be called The Peter Williamson Travel Award in memory of former Pershore College student and Wyevale Nurseries chairman who died last year aged 67.

Wyevale Nurseries managing director Steve Ashworth said: "Peter in his younger days was both a student at Pershore and spent time working in nursery stock production in Holland, and this seemed a fitting tribute to offer this award to a student of horticulture.

"I contacted Julia Page (assistant principal) to offer this award to support a student’s trip, not only in monetary terms but in organisational terms. We would contact people and pull a few strings to get the student’s placement.

"Ben had a very mature attitude as regards work ethics and a very convincing interest in nursery stock and horticulture. He has very much proved that he’s in it with both feet."

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