‘School Gardener of the Year’ accolade for Heather

Heather (centre) with Frances Tophill on her right,Alana Tapsell on her left and pupils Byron Birkby, Jack Horton, Caitlin Deluce, Harry Bennett, Scarlett Alison, Darcy Tugwell,  Lilly Smith, Katey Bledge and Solace Ambler
Heather (centre) with Frances Tophill on her right,Alana Tapsell on her left and pupils Byron Birkby, Jack Horton, Caitlin Deluce, Harry Bennett, Scarlett Alison, Darcy Tugwell, Lilly Smith, Katey Bledge and Solace Ambler
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A school garden is all set to blossom thanks to a pupil’s winning ways and the advice from a TV gardener.

Fifteen-year-old Heather Birkby, winner of the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) School Gardener of the Year 2015, welcomed BBC and ITV personality Frances Tophill to Broughton High School last week.

After touring the school, they spent the day gardening as part of Heather’s prize.

The pair worked with school gardening club members to establish and plant a new corner bed with a blue and white theme.

“Winning the RHS title has brought huge benefits not just to me, but to my school and others,” said Heather, from Goosnargh.

“It has been a fantastic experience and I encourage any schools that are considering entering to get involved!”

Also a contest judge, Frances – presenter of ITV’s Love Your Garden – was impressed by Heather’s horticultural achievements.

She said she was thrilled to offer advice to her and her fellow students, adding: “It’s essential that we train and inspire the horticulturists of the future and I am proud to be part of the RHS competition which gives people the recognition they deserve for their wonderful work.”

Another RHS visitor was Alana Tapsell who brought plants from Wisley wanted by the gardening club. The major task now is to construct the stone labyrinth in the garden’s centre which will be used by pupils in KS 3 & 4 as a spiritual pathway. The RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2016 is currently open for entries.