Sharon competing for top title


A green-fingered parent volunteer at Lisburn’s Ballcarrickmaddy Primary School is in the running for the Royal Horticultural Society’s School Gardening Champion of the Year title.

Sharon McMaster is one of only four finalists in the category, which is for adults who inspire young people and who have shown a passion for encouraging gardening in their school, as well as linking gardening to the curriculum.

Ballycarrickmaddy Principal Colin Ford, who nominated Sharon for the award, said: “Sharon has established a fantastic garden at Ballycarrickmaddy Primary School on account of her enthusiasm, commitment and knowledge.

“All children, from P1 – P7, participate in a highly structured, annual rolling program of gardening activities that includes planting, harvesting and general maintenance of the garden.

“In addition to all of the gardening undertaken by pupils and staff, Sharon also runs two Saturday clubs for children who do and do not attend Ballycarrickmaddy.”

Sharon and fellow finalists will each receive a digital camera to create a short film - part of their submmission for the prize - showcasing their passion for gardening and the gardening work they’ve undertaken in their school.

They will also receive an engraved trowel, a place on a teacher training course or adult learning course at an RHS garden, a £25 Thompson and Morgan seed voucher and £250 in National Garden Gift Vouchers. The winner, chosen from among the four finalists, will receive a free place on an RHS school gardening training day or adult learning course at an RHS Garden; they will have a VIP visit to their school and receive will receive tickets for either Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 or RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 2017.

The winner’s school will receive £100 worth of Thompson & Morgan seeds and an extra £250 in National Garden Gift Vouchers.