Capel Manor College’s horticultural student Andy Clarke is the 2017 winner of Mr Fothergill’s Award for the student who has demonstrated the highest skills in plant care and propagation. He was recently presented with a commemorative shield and a bursary of £500 by the company’s joint-managing director John Fothergill.

“Andy has shown a level of research and detail above and beyond the course. He has practiced and mastered knife work and skill such as grafting. An unassuming, quiet student yet dedicated and passionate when it comes to propagation of plants” says Sarah Seery, Head of the School of Horticulture at Capel.

Andy worked for 15 years in the arts industry and became a deputy stage manager but, having got the gardening bug a few years ago, decided to change career. He says: “What really appealed about horticulture was that it is a career where you can be learning something new every day and have the opportunity to work outside. I went to Capel and did the Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture covering amenities, crops and garden design. In September I’m continuing my training and will be undertaking the trainee scheme at Cambridge university botanical garden for a year.” Andy has more reasons to look forward to September as he and his partner are expecting a baby in the same month.Capel Manor is the largest land-based college in Greater London, offering a range of nationally accredited courses and apprenticeships and with six centres across Greater London; they are within reach of anyone with a passion for the great outdoors. Subjects offered include horticulture, arboriculture, countryside management, environmental conservation, floristry, garden design, and landscaping. For more details of courses at Capel, visit


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