Euro success for CAFRE’s golden gardener

Left to right are Gold Medal winners Will Burberry and Adam Ferguson with (centre) Colin McKnight, CAFRE tutor and training manager for the UK Squad
Left to right are Gold Medal winners Will Burberry and Adam Ferguson with (centre) Colin McKnight, CAFRE tutor and training manager for the UK Squad

Twenty-year-old landscape gardener Adam Ferguson is bloomin’ marvellous – and that’s official.

The CAFRE horticulture graduate has struck gold in landscaping at the international Euroskills competition in Gothenburg.

Ballymena-man Adam completed his Foundation Degree in Horticulture with Distinction at Greenmount Campus in June. While studying at Greenmount he trained for and earned a place on the WorlskillsUK Landscape Gardening Squad but this was his first international competition.

Adam said he was delighted with the result from the Euroskills Landscape Gardening event: “To compete at this international event is fantastic but to win the gold medal when you’re up against such a very high standard of competitors is just amazing.

“It’s been a busy couple of months as I’ve worked really hard for the competition, taken up a permanent job with Hillsborough Castle Gardens, helped construct a show garden for Bloom in the Park in Dublin and represented CAFRE at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. But I’m delighted all the hard work has paid off. It has been a fantastic experience and really boosted my confidence and CV.”

The competition sees the most talented young people from more than 30 European countries come together to compete in over 35 different skill areas, ranging from engineering and construction through to creative arts and hospitality. 

The landscaping competition requires trainee landscape gardeners to showcase their skills by building a pre-designed garden as a two person team.

CAFRE Tutor, Colin McKnight, who is Training Manager for the UK Squad said: “This is the first time a UK team has won Gold for Landscape Gardening in an international competition. The build is a tremendous technical challenge and has to be completed within strict time constraints. The gardens may be built above or in-ground and include timber construction, walls, water features, paving, varying levels, turf and planting.”

Paul Mooney, Head of Horticulture at Greenmount, said: “I’m delighted to be able to celebrate Adam’s much deserved success. He worked very hard to earn his place on the UK Squad so to see him put in an excellent performance and bring home the gold medal is terrific. When it comes to developing skills and professionalism Adam is a great inspiration to all our students who are studying landscape gardening within horticulture. We are all very proud of him.”

Adam, with team mate and Surrey-based student Will Burberry, will now go on to compete for a place in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills in Abu Dhabi next year. This is the largest international skills competition, which takes place every two years will run from 14 to 19 October, 2017.