Students learn what it takes to succ-seed in horticultural careers

No amount of rain could dampen the enthusiasm of students taking part in the Horticulture Advocates Programme event (HAP).

HAP, an initiative run by Eden Project Learning (EPL), with funding from the Edge Foundation, works with schools in Cornwall to raise awareness of careers in horticulture, highlighting the connections with STEM curriculum subjects.

Students from Bodmin College and Fowey School are working with landscape designer, Matt James who will co-ordinate the students’ transformational design for part of the Eden Project site, whilst local employers will develop the site with the students. As part of Project 3000 which hypothesises sustainable solutions to living on the planet, students need to address climate change and food shortage issues likely to be prevalent in the year 3000 within their designs.

In part of the session, Matt, who also teaches EPL’s Landscape Design degree course, talked about the horticultural sector, focusing on the myriad of career paths available – many of which are already facing dramatic skills shortages.

Many of the students who had previously never considered a horticulture career are now budding landscape designers, with one student planning to re-design their grandparents’ garden. Students gained an understanding of how they needed to draw on skills and knowledge gained in subjects ranging from geology and geography to arts and maths, together with employability skills such as team working, communication and budgeting.

Students taking part in the 10 HAP Challenge days build a portfolio of certificates of achievement to take back to their schools to encourage their peers to look at horticulture careers as a route to global sustainability.

You can find out more about the HAP and how your school can get involved by contacting Dr Alexandra Wagstaffe, Lecturer Horticulture at or Professor Barratt, Head of Eden Project Learning at or by visiting the Eden Project website