A budding horticulturist has bagged herself a place on a prestigious course at Kew Gardens.

Anja Seymour was crowned the Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year at the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards 2022.

This comes after the 20-year-old completed a two-year apprenticeship in Horticulture at Pershore College while working for Cotswold Garden Flowers.

She has now started on a three-year Kew Diploma in Horticulture programme at the iconic botanic gardens.

Anja, from Evesham, said: “I finished my A-Levels in lockdown and was assessing what to do next. I had done a lot of gardening with my grandparents growing up and enjoyed it a lot, so I decided to look at horticulture.

“I started doing work experience at Cotswold Garden Flowers and after a couple of months the manager offered me an apprenticeship. Two years on and I’ve won this award, so that’s been quite a big jump!”

Worcester News: Anja Seymour (left) has started a course at Kew GardensAnja Seymour (left) has started a course at Kew Gardens (Image: Pershore College)

Anja received the award in a ceremony held at West Midlands Safari Park which celebrated the best apprentices, employers, training providers, schools and apprentice champions from across Worcestershire.

On completion of her apprenticeship with Pershore College, Anja applied for the Kew Diploma, the world’s foremost qualification in botanical horticulture.

The qualification is self-accredited by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and is viewed as a Higher Education qualification.

“I was quite surprised to win the award, but it was a really good evening and a great way to sign-off from my apprenticeship,” Anja continued.

“I had excellent support from my college tutor, Mark Diggines, during my study weeks and throughout my apprenticeship.

“During our course, Mark encouraged our class to enter Young Horticulturist of the Year in which I got third place at the Regional Finals.

“Mark supported me with the application to Kew and I got the place - which was amazing.

“The diploma will see me get the chance to learn from some of the world’s very best and experience roles across the Royal Botanic Gardens.”

Her tutor, Mr Diggines, added: “We are all incredibly proud of Anja and her achievements. She impressed us from the first day at college and has a very bright future ahead of her in horticulture.

“Securing a place on the diploma at Kew further exemplifies her strengths as a student and we look forward to continuing to follow her career closely as her development continues.”