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Teenager is first new apprentice for a generation
BATSFORD Arboretum has welcomed its first new apprentice in almost a quarter of a century.
Student Bradley Rogers, of Lower Brailes, has taken up the two-year apprenticeship at the arboretum and will be working alongside the small gardens team.
The 16-year-old has been interested in horticulture since early schooldays when he helped his dad manage land at the back of their house and, after a stint of work experience at Batsford, decided he wanted to follow horticulture as a career.
Bradley will combine his work at Batsford with a horticulture course at Moreton Morrell College.
“My family have brought me to the arboretum since I was very small and I’ve always loved it,” he said. “I love the history of the arboretum and am delighted to have been given this wonderful opportunity.”
Operations director Stuart Priest said Batsford had been keen to take on apprentices but just could not find the right person for the job.
He said: “We employed local man Jeremy Hill in 1988 and the experience helped him decide to continue training in horticulture before setting up a successful landscape and garden maintenance firm.
“Since then we’ve tried to find someone else, but it wasn’t until Bradley came along we felt we had someone with the right attitude and passion for the job.”
He added the poor weather this year meant it was a struggle for the charity which runs Batsford to find the money to take on extra staff.