An award-winning gardener has cultivated a new career in education and been honoured with a prestigious accolade.
Geraint Ellis, from Porthmadog, received The Livery Company Prize for outstanding learners and tutors who have achieved City and Guilds qualifications.
Now a Work-based Learning Practitioner in Horticulture, Environmental Conservation and Trees and Timber at Coleg Cambria Deeside, he was selected by The Worshipful Company of Gardeners to receive the title at a ceremony held at Mansion House in London.
A former pupil at Ysgol Eifionydd, Geraint had excelled in a Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture and progressed to Level 3 while deputy head greenkeeper at Porthmadog Golf Club.
Previously a specialist biomedical scientist for the NHS before deciding to re-skill in the land-based sector, he said: “I enjoyed my role as a greenkeeper and took an instant interest in sustainable practices and native grasslands.
“During the early stages of my career I was inspired to enter the education profession by my tutor, Maria Thwaite, where I could give something back to the industry.”
Geraint added: “Every day at Coleg Cambria is completely different, I cover a wide geographical area from Southport to South Wales and interact with learners remotely and in person.
“I’m proud to be part of such a fantastic and dedicated team and thank my manager Kate Muddiman and all of the team for welcoming me and supporting my training and completion of my assessing qualifications.
“Horticulture is an ever-evolving discipline with exciting developments. I would certainly encourage learners into the industry as the careers on offer are fulfilling and rewarding.
“I also believe horticulture and conservation are part of the solution to our current climate crisis.”
Kate Muddiman, Work-based Learning Manager at Coleg Cambria, congratulated Geraint and said: “He is now supporting others to achieve their qualifications and has excelled in this role.
“Geraint is an inspiration to both learners and colleagues and always has a proactive can-do attitude, promoting development and sustainability in the land-based sector.”
John Gilbert, Master, the Worshipful Company of Gardeners of London, added: “We were delighted to put forward Geraint for a City and Guilds Livery Award.
“His commitment to sustainable farming is highly commendable and the work he is doing is exactly what we need if we are to meet the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
“His enthusiasm is both infectious and inspiring and we wish him every success.”