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Award for blogging gardener

The SIC's blogging gardener Liam Anderson - Photo: SRUC

SHETLAND Islands Council’s blogging gardener Liam Anderson has won the best SVQ horticulture student of the year award at the Elmwood campus of Scotland’s Rural College, in Cupar.

Working as an apprentice gardener with the SIC since he left school, Anderson has been co-authoring a popular monthly gardening blog since November 2013.

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Lecturer Phil Watkin said: “Liam is a natural student; fun loving but interested in his subject. We in the horticulture department at SRUC Elmwood feel he will go far in the industry.”

Working in a small team of two gardeners and four grounds staff, Anderson tends the Jubilee Flower Park, the King George V play park and other amenity gardens and planted areas around Lerwick.

Accepting the award of top part-time (SVQ) horticulture student at SRUC Elmwood, he said he was happy and “a little surprised” to have won the accolade.

“I became interested in wildlife, nature and plants though my family, we were always planting and growing things.

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“I really enjoyed the course and would definitely recommend it to others,” he said.

He has been attending SRUC Elmwood for three years as a block release student on the SVQ horticulture programme.

It involves three blocks of two-week visits over each year in SVQ2 and three blocks of one-week visits during SVQ3 when he studies for a Parks, Gardens and Green Spaces qualification.

“We have courses that can allow students like Liam to progress from SVQ to honours degree level if they have the ambition and ability,” Watkins added.

“We like to instil a love for horticulture and what it can do for people, whether through a blog, garden visits, horticultural therapy or gardening as a healthy pursuit. Liam is already a brilliant advocate for all that.”

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