Mount Congreve Gardens in Waterford were recently re-opened following a €7 million re-development and in addition to the new visitor experiences the team behind the global garden of the world are set to open a brand new Mount Congreve School of Horticulture.
The school aims to continue to nurture the decades of gardening knowledge at the world-celebrated gardens and ensure the craft of horticulture for future generations.
The School of Horticulture is focused on maximising the educational potential that the world-renowned gardens have to offer.
School of Horticulture
Speaking about the new Mount Congreve School of Horticulture Estate Manager Ray Sinnott says: “The Mount Congreve Gardens team, working in collaboration with the Waterford Wexford Education and Training Board, is excited to provide learners in Waterford with the opportunity to study a new full-time one-year Horticulture training programme based at the School of Horticulture."
He adds: "Students and tutor staff will work alongside our experienced and knowledgeable team of garden staff with huge opportunities for knowledge transfer, peer-to-peer learning and fostering an environment where passion for horticulture leads to shared knowledge and learning for all. We aim to develop further education and training provisions based on our expertise in horticulture as historically the gardens have always held strong links with education and have facilitated and encouraged many students over the years on their learning pathways."
In addition to facilitating many students, both local and international, on work placement programmes it was felt that there existed an opportunity in Waterford to create a horticultural education hub as part of the strategy for Mount Congreve Gardens.
Mount Congreve Gardens represent a unique location for the provision of horticultural education and the aim of the School of Horticulture is to maximise this potential in creating a hub destination for broad and varied educational offerings in the area of Horticulture.
Commenting on the educational aspect of the gardens, Ray says: "It is important that the gardens are seen as an accessible venue associated with education and learning. A venue which promotes gardening, horticulture, biodiversity and environmental awareness while supporting local horticulture industry and enterprise providing a focus on the land-based sector and promoting employment opportunities for a skilled labour workforce in Waterford.”
The first programme is a QQI Level 5 Major Award in Horticulture and this is due to commence at the School of Horticulture as a new one-year full-time training programme funded by the Waterford and Wexford Education & Training Board.
Students will undertake their training in one of the “Great gardens of the World” and study amongst the vast botanical plant collections, four-acre walled garden, Georgian glasshouses, wetlands, and beautiful woodland gardens all of which present a unique opportunity to learn and experience a variety of microclimates and plant growing conditions.
The award will enable learners to acquire the relevant knowledge, skills, and competencies to carry out horticulture operations in a range of horticulture fields linked to local employment opportunities. The award will also enable learners to prepare for progression to a horticultural specialisation at Level 6 or to Higher Education Institutes at NFQ Level 7.
The course offers 16 full-time places and is currently open for applications at https://mountcongreve.com/school-of-horticulture/
The course is set to commence on the 24th of April 2023.