Horticulture students get a financial boost for their post-pandemic future

by Tess Skidmore

The David Colegrave Foundation has selected its scholarship winners for the 2020-21 season.  

Receiving over £11,000 between them, nine students have had a boost to their future studies in sustainability, ethnobotany, biodiversity, commercial horticulture and plant breeding. 

Jeff Colegrave comments: “This past year has been tough for everyone, but especially for those students studying a practical qualification where they are unable to study from home in the same way. This year the trustees of the David Colegrave Foundation are more delighted than ever to be able to reward and support dedicated students through this pandemic and ensure the next generation of horticulturalists do not fail to blossom.” 

The £1,500 John Gibson Environmental Scholarship winner is Eve Halliday 

Eve is in the second year of the BSc in Horticulture with Plantsmanship delivered by SRUC/RBGE. When selecting her second-year project, Eve was especially keen to do a project involving practical horticulture. Eve is particularly interested in the conservation, diversity and environmental aspects of plants and horticulture.  

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, Eve said: “I am thrilled to be a recipient of the John Gibson Environmental Scholarship. It will help me to continue my studies in horticulture and botany and follow a career in restoring biodiversity to our native habitats. I look forward to creating more links between horticulture and conservation in the UK.” 

The £1,000 BPOA/Peter Seabrook Scholarship winner is Joshua Blakey 

Joshua is currently studying for a BSc (Hons) in Commercial Horticulture at Hadlow College (North Kent College Group/ University of Greenwich). Joshua is the student representative for his year and he has also engaged in a partnership programme with the University of Greenwich to enable him to follow a mentor at the Natural Resources Institute. 

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, Joshua said: “I feel extremely honoured to have been awarded this scholarship. It will provide great support as I continue my Commercial Horticulture degree with Hadlow College, particularly when beginning my dissertation later this summer. It will help fund new opportunities and relieve some of the financial pressures of being a student.” 

The £1,500 Ball Colegrave Scholarship winner is Molli Christman 

Molli is currently working at RHS Garden Hyde Hall. 

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, Molli said: “I’m absolutely overjoyed to receive this Ball Colegrave sponsored travel bursary as it allows me my head start in planning my future career, which includes education and travel for my work as well as any other expenses I come across.  Thank you to David Colegrave Foundation for even considering me.” 

The £2,500 Research Scholarship winner is Francesca Ablett 

Francesca is currently in the final year of a BSc Honours degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds, with a particular interest in plant sciences. 

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, Francesca said: “I am honoured to have received the horticultural research scholarship and I am excited to begin my project. I am very grateful to the David Colegrave Foundation for this valuable opportunity to develop my interests in plant breeding, and to Tim Kerley for his insight and encouragement.” 


The £1,000 Student Scholarships winners are: 

Rebecca Gilroy 

Rebecca is a full-time student on the FdSc in Horticulture Programme at College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE). She has a family background in horticulture and plans to work for the family nursery and landscaping business when she graduates.  

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, Rebecca said: “When I first heard about the David Colegrave foundation scholarship, I was excited not just at the thought of winning but at the opportunity of being involved with the foundation which has helped and inspired so many young horticulturalists like myself. Having now won I am overcome with excitement and extremely grateful for the opportunities I have now been given.” 

William Charity 

William is currently in his second year of study of the City & Guilds, Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma in Horticulture at Writtle University College. Outside of college, William has developed his own local garden maintenance business, and has already applied and been accepted onto a three-year BSc in Horticulture degree course. 

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, William said: “I am really pleased and excited to have been chosen for a David Colegrave Foundation student scholarship. I am passionate about horticulture and this scholarship will enable me to study water usage in bedding plants, which otherwise would not have been possible. I am keen to make horticulture more sustainable.” 

Nicole Connolly 

Nicole is a year one part-time student on the FdSc in Horticulture Programme at CAFRE Greenmount. She joined the course with an interest in pursuing a career in vegetable production and community gardening. 

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, Nicole said, “I was extremely excited and surprised to learn that I was a recipient of the David Colegrave Scholarship. I’m very thankful for the foundation being so supportive of my education. Thanks to this scholarship, I will be able to reduce my work schedule, focus more on my studies, volunteering and my long-term goal which is to improve the wellbeing of the elderly people in my community through horticulture.” 

Sarah Powell  

Sarah is studying for a BSc(Hons) in Horticulture and Plantsmanship at SRUC Edinburgh. Sarah is a keen and enthusiastic horticulture student who has come from a background of outdoor pursuits and activities. 

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, Sara said: “I am overjoyed at receiving the scholarship. Beginning full time education as a mature student has been a big but exhilarating step. Having enjoyed horticulture in my spare time throughout my life, it is very exciting to be on the journey to becoming a professional within the industry.” 

Scott Galloway   

Scott is currently studying for a HND in Horticulture at SRUC. He is currently working on his Graded Unit 2 project which is self-led research on a relevant horticultural topic: ‘Evaluation into different free-draining growing media on the growth rate of Bergenia ‘Oeschberg’ roots cuttings’. 

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, Scott said, “I’m delighted to be awarded the Student Scholarship from DCF and would like to thank Adam Dunnett for the interesting conversation around ethnobotany. I believe herb production is going to be a vital area of expansion for the industry and look forward to studying Herbology to support my goal of growing herbs commercially.” 


For more information on the David Colegrave Foundation, please visit www.davidcolegravefoundation.org.uk  



For more information on The David Colegrave Foundation please email info@davidcolegravefoundation.org.uk 

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The David Colegrave Foundation (DCF) is a registered charity supporting the development of students studying horticulture in the UK. It champion careers in commercial, production or retail ornamental horticulture by offering scholarships to these future horticulturists. To date, over £175,000 has been awarded.  

David Colegrave was one of Britain’s leading seedsmen, founding the UK’s largest ornamental seed company, Colegrave Seeds (now Ball Colegrave). During his career, Colegrave took a keen interest in supporting and promoting the development of young people, and it was with this in mind that the Foundation was launched shortly after his death.  

The David Colegrave Foundation is administered by the Horticultural Trades Association.