This week Kingston Maurward College proudly welcomed award winning actor Edward Fox and his wife, Joanna David, to officially open two purpose built state of the art glasshouses for the Horticulture academy.
The veteran actor became interested in the project after befriending the College’s resident blacksmith, Simon Grant Jones. Mr Fox said he was ‘honoured’ to have been asked to officiate at the event which comprised a tour of the glasshouses and gardens, followed by lunch with College Principal Clare Davison, governors, staff and students.
He said: “We will go away from here thinking of the impact of inspiring the young for lifetime occupations and lifetime happiness which you can see is a reality here.
“I thought it would be quite impossible at my age to be inspired again, I realise that at 10.30 this morning this was my point of view about life, I have now completely changed thanks to today.”
The £850,000 glasshouse project replaced two outdated existing polytunnels, a non-operational smaller greenhouse built in the 1960s, and tool sheds bringing the College to the forefront of technology in its field.
The new structures will house classrooms, tool stores, learning resources, and growing facilities for students. Their produce will supply the home market and Visitor Centre with vegetable in both new and heritage varieties, and cut flowers for the emerging British grown flower market.
This build was carefully planned to be sympathetic to its environment and with minimal damage to current species, and will use sustainable initiatives including rainwater harvesting, automatic shade systems and solar power.
This horticultural science centre will also be accessible to relevant local employers, community groups and interest groups.
If you are interested in a career in horticulture, come along and find out more about our courses at our next Course information session. Click here for details.