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Young Horticulturist of the Year 2018 returns to Harrogate

21 Feb 2018 | BALI Member News

This well-respected competition, now in its 28th year, is returning to Harrogate again, this time to the Harrogate Spring Flower Show ( April 26th to 29th) on April 28 that the Great Yorkshire Showground, where the eight competitors will be able to experience the sights, sounds and smells of this wonderful show as well as the challenge of the competition.

The YHOY competition would not be possible without the generosity of our national and regional sponsors and, this year, the support of Nick Smith, the Show Director and his staff at the flower show. We have been able to secure the services of Nick’s predecessor, Martin Fish of BBC Radio York to act as the Quiz Master and, as an extra experience for our competitors and their friends and family, they will be able to enjoy a conducted tour of the fabulous RHS Gardens Harlow Carr ( ) near Harrogate on the Sunday with the Curator, Paul Cook. Lachlan Rae, winner of the 2017 competition, says "The Young Horticulturist of the Year competition has been invaluable to me personally and professionally. Competing has allowed me the opportunity to network with professionals from a wide variety of disciplines held under the banner of Horticulture, some of which being amongst the best in their chosen field. It has given me the drive to academically push myself and has given a great boost in confidence of my own abilities. I would recommend anyone eligible for entry to do so!"

We are indebted to our national sponsors: The Shropshire Horticultural Society, which is the major sponsor of the competition and who, through the Percy Thrower Trust, provide the Travel Bursary prize for the winner and also the considerable sponsorship of the Grand Final. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), and our new sponsor for 2018, ICL. There are also many regional and local sponsors including Bord Bia who sponsor the competition in all Ireland.

Adam Ferjani from Platinum sponsor ICL says “We are delighted to be sponsoring the YHOY for 2018. The future of our industry relies on encouraging and nurturing young talent and as a leading player within the horticultural market we are pleased to support this worthy award. Through YHOY and the CIM we are able to make sure that all young talent is recognised industry wide.”

Owen Doyle, Chartered Institute of Horticulture president, says “The Chartered Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition is our flagship event which engages students and young horticulturists across both Great Britain and Ireland. This is an exciting and fantastic opportunity for horticulture students and those working in the industry to display their plant knowledge and meet fellow horticulturists during both the local heats and at the Grand Final. Thanks to our generous sponsors the winners at local level receive prizes and those that reach the Grand Final also receive great prizes. The overall champion young horticulturist will have the opportunity to travel as the 2018 recipient of the Percy Thrower Travel Bursary worth £2000.  I encourage all those who are eligible to participate to join in the fun at your local competition. I wish the best of good fortune to all those taking part!

Raoul Curtis-Machin from the HTA says “We are delighted to be sponsoring the competition again this year. It is great to support this celebration of horticulture and a real honour to be involved in such a well-run professional contest.

To find out more about the competition and how to take part visit the Young Horticulturist of the Year pages at Join in the discussions with past and present competitors on Facebook CIHort and Twitter @CIHort. Anyone interested in taking part in or sponsoring the 2018 competition should contact the Chartered Institute of Horticulture - Email:                                                                     

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