PRODUCTION Manager at Wyevale Nurseries Kyle Ross has been presented with the Young Grower (under 35) of the Year Award at this year’s Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) Conference (October 2023).
Kyle, who is also an ‘Ambassador for Horticulture’, a title given to him at the HTA-backed 2022 Four Oaks Trade Show, says he is delighted by his award.
A key member of the Young People in Horticulture Association (YPHA), Kyle adds: “I was completely overwhelmed and honoured to be presented with this award, in such a strong category. I’m delighted to be representing the under 35s. It was so completely unexpected, but it’s truly wonderful to receive such fantastic industry recognition. I would like to thank all my team and everyone at Wyevale Nurseries, and at the YPHA, for all their continued support. Furthermore, I’d like to add it was brilliant to be able to accept an award alongside my friend and YPHA committee member and founder, Mollie Higginson.”
Kyle is described by his colleagues at Wyevale Nurseries as a true professional, who is inspiring, supportive, committed to change and always great fun.
Wyevale Nurseries’ Head of Business Support, Carol Dickinson says: “This is fabulous news! We’re delighted for Kyle and very proud. Congratulations to him on this thoroughly well-deserved award.
“He is truly inspirational and an amazing asset to our business. His work ethic is outstanding and his enthusiasm for plant health and biosecurity is infectious. Kyle is a wonderful representative for Wyevale Nurseries and our industry, as well as our sector’s Plant Health, and for young people in horticulture too.”
Kyle has a BSc in Horticulture from Pershore College and is one of Wyevale Nurseries’ young ‘homegrown’ managers, having successfully completed its management training scheme.
He started his career at Wyevale Nurseries on its Management Trainee Programme in 2016, which is a two-year course. Eighteen months in, he was doing so well he carved out a vital role in the team as Plant Health Coordinator.
In 2018, he accepted the position as Production Manager for the container production site and has been in that role for more than four years. He manages four internal departments – crop protection, growing, stock control and new product development.
As well as his role at Wyevale Nurseries, he’s a proactive committee member for the YPHA, which he joined in 2021 and is now the organisation’s Technical Officer & Project Manager.
It’s a great passion of Kyle’s, as it helps likeminded young horticulturalists to share thoughts and ideas. It provides a welcoming community and encourages youth into the sector.
He has received recognition in the trade media for being one of the horticultural industry’s new generation of young, inspirational and influential plantspeople.
In July this year, he was named by readers of the trade publication HortWeek as being in the top 100 of most influential people in horticulture, polling in at number 10.
In his seven years with Wyevale Nurseries so far, Kyle has been the driving force behind ensuring the business was one of the first hardy nursery growers in the UK to achieve a Plant Healthy certified status.
He is a huge champion of plant health, not only at Wyevale Nurseries, but across the industry and is happy to talk to organisations and other nurseries about it.
Kyle was also a member of the steering group, which introduced the Defra-endorsed Plant Health Alliance’s Plant Healthy Certification scheme.
To add to all this, Kyle has helped bring to market several new products in the Wyevale Nurseries’ range, which have gone on to be very successful sellers including Dryopteris Jurassic Gold and Euonymus White Spire.
Wyevale Nurseries’ product selection is envied across the industry and the talented team regularly introduces new, award-winning plant varieties.
Its main business is to supply garden centres, landscape contractors, local authorities, foresters and landowners with a comprehensive array of trees, shrubs, hedging, herbaceous and specimen plants.
For further details about Wyevale Nurseries, which is based in Hereford, please call 01432 845 200 or visit www.wyevalenurseries.co.uk.