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Grants for Horticultural Students

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THE DIANA AITCHISON FUND is a new fund aiming to assist the education of young people,with an interest in alpine plants,who want to follow a career in horticulture.
In 2008 Diana Aitchison, who ran her own nursery in Northumberland, passed away and left a large sum of money to assist horticultural students with an interest in alpine plants. The trustees of her will approached the Scottish Rock Garden Club to administer the fund and it was agreed that the money should be invested in such a way that the capital was preserved and the interest made available for student grants each year. To this end there are several thousand pounds available each year for grants.
Do you know a young (‘young’ is not defined) person who is undertaking or about to undertake some horticultural training who would benefit from a grant from this fund? The funding is available to students who either live in the UK or are studying in the UK. If you know of such a person then further information can be found here:

I am inspired to blog about the above because of a couple of presentations I listened to yesterday at the club’s AGM. The AGM is always followed by a lecture and this year two fund recipients made presentations to the club.
Firstly we were shown a video, ‘The Blue Poppy’, which described how traditional Tibetan herbal medicine had suddenly become a popular item for export to the extent that many of the plants were now under threat. Grants from the fund enabled several Tibetan students to study propagation and cultivation techniques at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and Macplants Nursery so that they can return to Tibet and start a plant conservation program. The video was fascinating and well worth watching.
The second presentation was by a young man from Dundee who started working in the computer games industry when he left school, gave this up after a couple of years and moved into horticulture. His presentation described how his interest in alpine plants started with a visit to Edinburgh Botanical Garden and how he continued to study for a diploma including work experience in a Botanical Garden in Turkey and a field trip to Nepal. He is now working in the herbarium in Edinburgh and using his computer games skills to produce an interactive map of the Edinburgh Botanic Garden showing the location of every plant.
All the students involved in these two presentations have brilliant futures ahead of them and the SRGC is pleased to have been of some help. If you know of any young person who might benefit then it would be well worth your while pointing them in the direction of the above link.
Footnote: Meconopsis, the Himalayan blue poppy, is used for pain relief.

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Thank you for giving the above information. Helpful fund.

I especially like this : "computer games skills to produce an interactive map of the Edinburgh Botanic Garden showing the location of every plant" ... excellent.. :o)

1 Dec, 2010

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