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Lawrence Wright takes first after a close final.

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The Grand Final of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016 took place at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin on May 7th where the brightest young talent in the horticultural profession competed for the prestigious title of CIH Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016.

The results were as follows:

Lawrence Wright, South East Branch - Winner

Joshua Stevens, North West and North Wales Branch - Runner-Up

Fern Champney, Eastern Branch - Third Place

2016 winner

Lawrence, currently studying at RHS Wisely, received the £2500 Travel Bursary provided by the Percy Thrower Trust and will be able to use it to further his horticultural career anywhere in the world.  

The final took place following the eight regional finals during March.

Andrew Gill CHort, FCIHort, President of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture said "They are all winners today. We hope that they all continue to work and do well in horticulture and become chartered members of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. I'd like to thank all the competitors for their bravery and knowledge".

Stephen Kynaston, of Platinum Sponsor the Shropshire Horticulture Society said of the competition "The health of anything in society can be gauged by the enthusiasm and commitment of young people, and so today shows how verdant the horticulture industry is."

The 2015 YHoY winner Jessica Evans, Senior Gardener at the National Trusts Tintinhull Gardens in Somerset said "I am delighted to have won the Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015 competition and look forward to using the travel bursary to further my training in horticulture. Having finished second in the competition last year, my over-whelming emotion when the final scores were announced was relief, especially as this was the last year I would be eligible to enter. I would now really like to support the running of the competition, and to encourage others to take part, as it is vitally important to celebrate the quality and knowledge of young horticulturists."


To find out more about the competition and how to take part visit the Young Horticulturist of the Year pages at

Join in the discussions with past and present competitors on Facebook CIHort and Twitter @CIHort.
Anyone interested in taking part in, or sponsoring the 2017 competition should contact the Chartered Institute of Horticulture - Email:


YHoY logo SHS logo MorePeople logo HTA logo Wyevale logo AHDB logo National Botanic Gardens logo Bord Bia logo

Editor's notes

1. The competition

  • This annual competition is organised by the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, the only professional body representing all aspects of horticulture. The Institute founded the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in 1990 as a way of encouraging and rewarding excellence among those starting out in a career in horticulture and today around 2000 young people under the age of 30 participate each year. 
  • The 2017 competition will be free to enter and is open to any horticulturist who is below the age of 30 on 31 July 2017.
  • The competition is run in three phases: heats which take place in January and February, followed by eight Regional Finals held in March and the Grand Final in May.
  • Heats are based on multi-choice questions covering a wide range of horticultural topics, run through a PowerPoint presentation. The heats are organised by eight CIH Regional Organisers and take place at colleges, garden centres and anywhere else where competitors may gather. To take part contact the Secretariat - email
  • For more information, and to have a trial run at some previous heat questions, visit:
  • Heat winners go forward to one of eight Regional Finals held in March, when a Question Master asks a wide range of horticultural questions, some through a buzzer round, and some directed to individual contestants. In addition, there are two identification rounds to further test their depth and breadth of knowledge on a range of plants as well as pests, diseases, disorders and weeds.
  • The winner of each Regional Final progresses to the Grand Final where the format is the same as for the Regional Finals with questions covering all sectors of horticulture. 
  • The winner of the Grand Final receives the £2,500 Percy Thrower Travel Bursary, provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society, Percy Thrower Trust.  This funds a horticultural trip anywhere in the world.  Previous winners have visited Borneo, China, New Zealand, South Africa, the Himalayas, the Galapagos Islands, the United States of America, South America and Europe.

2. 2016 national competition sponsors

  • Shropshire Horticultural Society/Percy Thrower Trust, they provide the £2,500 Travel Bursary and sponsorship of the Grand Final
  • MorePeople - recruitment company 
  • The Horticultural Trades Association
  • Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 
  • Wyevale Garden Centres Ltd.

3. The Chartered Institute of Horticulture is interested to hear from companies who would be willing to    offer financial, or other sponsorship, at all levels of the 2017 competition. Email: 

4. The Institute of Horticulture was established in 1984 with the aim of fostering a close relationship between all sectors of professional horticulture (advisory and research, amenity, commercial and education and training) throughout the UK and Ireland. It is the only professional body representing those who work in all aspects of horticulture.It founded the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition shortly after it was established as a way of encouraging and rewarding excellence among those starting out in a career in horticulture.
On 21 July 2014 the Institute was granted a Royal Charter by her Majesty the Queen and became the Chartered Institute of Horticulture (CIH), with many new plans and initiatives to enhance its standing and that of its members both inside and outside the horticultural industry. 
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture is represented on, and works collaboratively with, other horticultural organisations throughout the industry to unite a growing profession. 
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture also administers and supports the Grow Careers initiative set up in 2006 by some of the UK's leading horticulture organisations to promote horticulture as a challenging, dynamic, exciting and rewarding career:
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture has eight branches throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as overseas members. Members are linked to the branch where they live but are encouraged to attend meetings arranged in any other branch area.

5. Media enquiries and photos

Chartered Institute of Horticulture, C/O Horticultural Trades Association, Horticulture House, 19 High Street, Theale, Berkshire, RG7 5AH
Twitter @CIHort            
Chartered Institute of Horticulture, Charity Registration No: 1159140


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Last updated: 09/05/2016 10:40