Local College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise horticulture student, David Love-Cameron, has been named the first ever winner of a new scholarship which will see him get the opportunity to work at a restaurant run by one of the UK’s top chefs.
The Newtownabbey man will get the chance to observe and participate in the whole process of designing, building and planning the prestigious new Heritage Garden at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Restaurant in Oxford.
The Heritage Garden competition, which was run in conjunction with Le Manoir Restaurant, Garden Organic, Hartley Botanic and the Society of Garden Designers, was conceived to raise awareness of the ongoing work of the national charity Garden Organic in promoting organic gardening methods, preserving heritage gardening knowledge and safeguarding rare varieties that were once the mainstay of British gardens.
David is currently studying as a part-time student on the Foundation Degree in Horticulture. His studies at Greenmount have included modules in Principles of Organic Horticulture, Plant Health and Garden Design Principles. These classes have helped prepare him both for his new job with Root and Branch Organic, and previously as a project co-ordinator for Organic Horticulture which involved the design, build and facilitation of community gardens.
The scholarship application was a two part process involving a paper application and an interview in Oxford.
David, who was praised by Raymond Blanc for his commitment, enthusiasm and determination, is looking forward to working on the Heritage Garden.
“I know this will be an incredible opportunity to put my academic learning at Greenmount into practice, and to build on my experience to date. It will hopefully kick start the next stage in my career; that of becoming a professional, working horticulturist employing the highest standards in organic practice,” he said.
“The job, which will involve the planning and construction of a heritage fruit garden at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, is hugely exciting as it will further develop my skill set in garden design under the supervision and tutelage of Bob Sharman, a top practitioner in the field.”
David, who has recently been delivering ‘Edible Education’ projects to groups of teenagers and young people who have mental health conditions and has found great personal satisfaction in passing on his knowledge to others, would ultimately love to bring his experiences and skills back to Northern Ireland.
“We are thrilled for David and we are delighted to see that what he has learned at college is being put to such good use and had presented him with such a great personal and professional development opportunity,” added Paul Mooney, Head of Horticulture Education at Greenmount.