The David Colegrave Foundation (DCF) scholarship season is now open for student horticulturists. Nine scholarships are available, in which students can receive up to £5,000 to put towards their studies.

To date, the DCF has awarded over £175,000 towards study tours, work placements, college tuition, accommodation fees, books, equipment, and extra training courses.

Lesley Jane, 28, a previous winner of the Ball Colegrave scholarship, lives in Fakenham, North Norfolk. When she was awarded the scholarship, she was 20 years old and attending Eastern College completing her Level 3 Extended Diploma in Landscaping and Horticulture. She first came across the scholarship opportunity when it was advertised to students by her college.

Excited by the prospect, she applied and was interviewed at Flora Nova, a company breeding flower seed varieties for the professional bedding and pot plant sector. Delighted when she was selected to receive the bursary, she says: “Using the bursary, I was able to undertake work experience at Flora Nova in their labs, as well as working in the potting and seed shed, which allowed me to understand how to harvest seed. One of the most important things was being able to see the whole operation in motion, I would never have been able to do that without the scholarship.”

As well as providing Lesley with practical experience, the funds also allowed her to set up her own business: “I went self-employed, and traveled around Norfolk. I bought my own tools and set up a garden care and landscaping business. Because of that experience, I have now been running my own business for three years and currently work at Gresham’s school, previously working on both the Holkham and Sandringham estates.”

She shares her advice with others thinking of applying for the scholarships: “You have to make sure you explain why you’re going for the grant. I was interested in the science and biology behind growing plants, and I knew that I wanted to expand my knowledge in that area. I ensured that I explained that in my application, and therefore why receiving that money was important to me. You need to make it clear why you specifically deserve the award.”

To find out more about the David Colegrave Foundation and to apply for a horticultural scholarship, see:

For more information
Horticultural Trades Association