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Gildernew praises horticulture students

Monday, 26 October 2009

DARD Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA, has congratulated two teams of horticulture students from the Greenmount Campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), who were successful in the prestigious UK Skills Landscape Gardening Competitions held in England last month.  

The Advanced Team, comprising Foundation Degree students Michael Clarke from Lurgan and James Cuffey from Crossgar, was joint first in the Skills Advanced Final at Malvern Show, Worcestershire.  The Intermediate Team, comprising National Diploma students Stephen Robinson from Glarryford and Neil Bradley from Maghera, achieved second place in the Skills Intermediate Final at Windsor.

Both teams had reached the finals via regional heats and then had to build a garden over a three-day period. The project was designed to test a wide range of hard and soft landscape skills along with the ability of the teams to work together and manage their resources.

She said: “This is a fantastic achievement. These students have demonstrated exceptional organisational and landscaping skills, and have been wonderful ambassadors for both CAFRE and their community.”

The Minister thanked the Department of Employment and Learning and Lantra, the industry body supporting skills, education and training for environmental and land-based industries, for their support of CAFRE and the two teams.

James, Stephen and Neil are now competing for places on the team which will represent Britain and the north of Ireland in the WorldSkills competition in London in 2011.

Notes to editors:

1. Two teams of horticulture students from CAFRE achieved first and second places in the finals of the prestigious UK Skills Landscape Gardening Competitions.

2. Three of the four winning students are training for places on the British and north of Ireland-team who will compete in the Worldskills competition in London in 2011. There is an age constraint on team membership and the fourth student does not meet the age criterion.

3. All media enquiries should be directed to the DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.