THE Northern Ireland heat of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year competition was recently held in CAFRE at Greenmount, Antrim.
A large entry of young people battled it out for first prize and the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in the Ireland Branch Final which will be held in Glasnevin Botanic Gardens in Dublin on March 15.
After 45 taxing questions, Rachel McElfatrick, who is currently in her first year studying for an Extended Diploma in Horticulture, won top place, narrowly beating her classmate Tiernan Kelly. Foundation Degree student Emma McFarline took third place.
The prize for the highest scoring mature competitor went to Fiona Robertson, also a Foundation Degree student in Horticulture at CAFRE.
The competition was sponsored by Hillmount Nursery Centre, Belfast, and owner Alan Mercer presented the prize winners with their cheques.
Claire Woods, senior lecturer and Chair of the Ireland Branch of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, congratulated all who took part and thanked Hillmount Nursery Centre for its generous sponsorship.
She also wished Rachel and Tiernan success as they now go on to represent CAFRE and Greenmount in the Irish final.