Arboricultural Association Recognises Young Arborists at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Last Updated:  03/06/2016

For the second year running the AA was pleased to be able to recognise the hard work of six exemplary young arborists with a place at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Future of Horticulture- technology for a changing world’ breakfast event, sponsored by M&G Investments.

We asked our member colleges, training providers, businesses and Approved Contractors to nominate an outstanding or dedicated young person involved in Arboriculture, be they a student, apprentice or trainee and we had a fantastic response with six young people in arboriculture selected to attend the breakfast event on Friday 27th May. The attendees then had a chance to explore the show.

The aim of the event was to offer inspiration to young people at the start of their careers, with this year’s event showcasing how technology is progressing horticulture and careers in a changing world. The event was hosted by Adam Frost, Garden Designer and RHS Ambassador and celebrated technology in horticulture and horticultural careers through speakers; Leigh Morris, CEO National Land-Based College (UK) speaking on Social Media, Chris Moncrieff, Production Director at Vitacress speaking on new technologies in production horticulture and Tom Harfleet, Chelsea Show Manager speaking on the role of virtual reality in gardens and garden design.

Jago Keen, Chairman of the Arboricultural Association

AA Chair, Jago Keen, hosted a table at the breakfast and Education and Training Committee Chair Robin Jackson and AA Membership Officer, Jess Palfreyman were on hand to support and advise the group and promote the AA amongst the other attendees.

Young arborists recognised at Chelsea Flower Show 2016

The six young people selected in 2016 were:

  • Lewis Gardner, a one-time apprentice and now young team member at Ringrose Tree Services.
  • Sophie Coughlin, a trainee on Glendale Countryside’s Graduate Scheme currently studying for her Masters in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry.
  • Kieran Walker, a year 9 student from the Dorset Studio School, with a passion for all things land based and horticultural.
  • Sam Taylor, an apprentice working at Knighton Countryside Management and studying at Kingston Maurward College.
  • Joe Collins, an apprentice studying with Root and Branch Training and working for KJ Thulborn.
  • Tom Purchase, an apprentice studying with Root and Branch Training and working for KJ Thulborn.

Speaking after the event Karen Martin, CEO of the Association, said

“The AA supports and seeks to initiate projects across the UK which enable young people gain new skills relevant to finding jobs, training, volunteer opportunities or starting entrepreneurial projects that contribute to the green economy and benefit the built and natural environment. Working in partnership with other organisations we are keen to work with and promote young people in arboriculture and build an awareness of opportunities in this field for both young men and women. We are currently building a new online resource to support them as they start out in tree work and provide further careers guidance. For our AA representatives meeting our six inspiring guests enabled us to better understand needs, aspirations and capture their valuable input into this work.