Talented former horticulture student Lewis West has been recognised for his high level of skills and professionalism with a national award.

Lewis, 19, won the Landscape and Horticulture category at the inaugural Land-based and Environment Learner Awards, launched this year by Lantra, the leading land-based training and qualification awarding body, and by Landex, the representative body for land-based colleges and universities.

Candidates had to be working and studying in land-based and environment sectors between September 2021 and September 2022, during which time Lewis completed his Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Horticulture with us. His name was put forward for the award by his lecturers, who were impressed with his enthusiasm and dedication.

Lewis’ Level 3 course included a work placement on Reaseheath’s extensive gardens alongside our professional grounds team. Thanks to the practical skills and knowledge he gained, he has since secured a job as a gardener with The National Trust based at Hare Hill, Macclesfield, and at Little Moreton Hall, Congleton.

Lewis, who also completed his Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture at Reaseheath, said: “I really enjoyed the three years I spent at college. It enabled me to get a job working in wonderful surroundings which gives me great satisfaction. Most people don’t realise how many career opportunities are offered within the horticultural industry, and what a great lifestyle you have.

“I was very pleased and proud to achieve this award, and would like to thank the lecturers at Reaseheath and my current employers for their support and continuing learning opportunities.”

Emma Hill, Head Gardener of the National Trust’s Cheshire and Wirral portfolio, which includes Hare Hill and Little Moreton Hall, said: “We are very proud that Lewis’ achievements have been recognised with this national award, and are delighted that he is a member of our team.

“If visitors would like to see his work, both properties will reopen in early spring 2024.”

Lewis was presented with his award by Reaseheath’s Principal Marcus Clinton, current Chair of Landex, who told him: “This is a fantastic national achievement which highlights your brilliant skill development and enabled you to gain a wonderful job in your chosen industry.

“It has been fantastic to hear of your progression within the National Trust, which is a leader in the field of heritage conservation and one of our very important industry partners.”