Wednesday 29 February 2012
Working under William’s instruction today. William is a Step Ahead student at Mount Stewart, having done his NVQ in gardening he is now working towards his RHS qualification. He studies one night a week and the rest of the time is spent at Mount Stewart. He will take two years to qualify in this system. He will be a Step Ahead student for six months and then he has to do the rest in his own time. He hopes to stay as a Volunteer at Mount Stewart until he qualifies.
We were working with him on Rhododendron Hill clearing all the ponticum to help prevent the spread of Phytophthora ramorum if it ever strikes Mount Stewart (see Diary 5th Oct 2011.) Hollies, Guilder roses and hazels and some native trees – oak, beech and Spanish Oak will all be planted in this huge area in the autumn. We had two bonfires going all morning, it was very tempting just to sit and gaze into the flames but as you can see William set the pace.