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Double horticulture award win

Published Thursday, 16th March 2017 in Study at SRUC news

Oatridge student Laura Keddie with George Anderson, Honorary President of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

The Oatridge Campus of SRUC has been honoured with two awards from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

Laura Keddie was presented with the Carter-Patterson Memorial Award made to a high achieving Horticulture student or apprentice while Ann Burns, Horticulture Team Leader, was presented with the Dr Andrew Duncan Medal in recognition of her distinguished service.

Laura made the move to horticulture as a career two years ago and is currently studying for an HNC in Horticulture at Oatridge - having passed a National Certificate in Horticulture with Garden Design with Distinction last year.

She grew up spending Friday afternoons in Warriston Allotments with her Grandad - and it was here, and then later taking cuttings with her Mum, that Laura’s love of gardening began.

On leaving school Laura studied art and photography and then moved between retailing and bar management but always enjoying the outdoors and nature in her spare time.

Making the big decision - as a mature student - to change career into gardening Laura has wholeheartedly embraced the subject and has taken every opportunity to gain as much experience as possible.

Volunteering at Gardening Scotland, and for a 4 month period at Saughton Gardens, Laura only has to be asked and she will lend a helping hand. Laura also spent a very successful summer vacation working with Taurus Gardening - and with her ‘can do’ attitude and constantly increasing plant knowledge will be a great asset to any horticultural establishment in the future.

Throughout her time at Oatridge she has provided inspiration to and instilled enthusiasm in her classmates through her good natured determination to gain as much experience and learning as possible. 

She hopes to continue her studies further to HND and possibly degree - but is determined to match her academic studies with practical experience on the way to become an experienced horticultural practitioner.

Ann Burns, Laura’s Tutor at Oatridge said: “Laura has that quality that an employer should quickly recognise and make use of. She ‘sets the heather alight’ - possibly not the best gardening term to use, but it describes her so well!”

Ann Burns, Oatridge Horticulture Team Leader, with George Anderson, Honorary President of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

Ann Burns herself was presented with the Dr Andrew Duncan Medal – which is awarded for distinguished service to horticulture by an educationalist, adviser or administrator.

Ann was both surprised and delighted with her award and acknowledged that it was thanks to every mentor, tutor, colleague and student that she had worked with over the years. Accepting her medal Ann said: “Never stop learning about horticulture, plants and the world around you, the day you stop asking is the day you should hang up your spade!”

David James, Head of Education, said: “We are incredibly proud of the achievement of our student at such a prestigious award ceremony. It has been all the more special this year for SRUC as our long standing Horticulture Team Leader at Oatridge Ann Burns has been recognised once more for her outstanding contribution to the sector.”

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