A commemorative flower bed celebrating Reaseheath College’s 100th birthday has taken centre stage in Nantwich Town Square.

The project, in partnership with Nantwich in Bloom, marks the start of a year of public events and celebrations which the Nantwich college is preparing to hold, subject to Covid restrictions, to mark its significant milestone.

Reaseheath College became an educational institution in 1921 when it opened its campus to male students only. Then known as the Cheshire School of Agriculture, it expanded to offer courses in agriculture, dairying, poultry keeping and horticulture to both male and female students. At the outbreak of WW2 the school became a training centre for the Women’s Land Army and the base for the War Agricultural Committee.

Renamed in 1967, Reaseheath is now both a college and a university centre and has a national reputation for being at the forefront of science and technology in the land-based sector.

Representing this long history, the flower bed has Reaseheath’s blue and gold logo planted out in lobelia and marigolds and also has the words 100 picked out in colourful plants.

The bed was designed and planted by Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Level 2 students, some of whom are considering changing careers and moving into the horticultural industry. Reaseheath’s RHS courses have been particularly popular during lockdown, mirroring a national upsurge in interest in gardening and horticulture.

Chris Brown, who was made redundant two years ago after 25 years’ service with a large company, said: “The course has given me a good knowledge of how to design a bedding scheme and which plants work well together. It’s a great privilege to have our design on show to the public, and I hope Nantwich locals and visitors enjoy what we have created.”

Nantwich in Bloom Chair Sue Sherwood said “This has been a good practical project by the students, involving their local community, and we are very grateful for their efforts. The centenary flower bed is in a central position on Nantwich Town Square and is on the judging route for this year’s North West in Bloom competition, so we are hoping that it impresses our judges and visitors alike.”

Reaseheath’s horticulture students have helped Nantwich in Bloom members for the past six years, completing tasks such as planting and pruning fruit trees in the town’s community orchard and renovating flower beds outside the Parish Hall.