A student from Eden Project University Centre Cornwall College, part of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG), has received the prestigious 2023 Bursary Report prize from the Royal Horticultural Society for presenting the “highest overall standard” report. 

Melissa Bennett, studying BSc (Hons) horticulture (plant science) degree at the Eden campus, was awarded a £500 for her outstanding report titled “Exploring Desert Plants”. 

Reflecting on her achievement, Melissa said: “Studying a plant science degree at TCCG is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I feel very fortunate to have been given an award for doing something that I really love.” 

Melissa added: “My passion of desert plants was inspired by my dad’s cactus collection, grown in our conservatory in Suffolk. 

“Last year, as a plant science undergraduate at the Eden Project University Centre, I was fortunate enough to be awarded an RHS bursary to work alongside Noemí Hernández Castro, cactus specialist, at Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona — a truly amazing and an inspiring experience.” 

For horticulture programme manager, Chris Bisson, this is a “fantastic example of TCCG’s bespoke degree programmes, which are designed specifically to explore various aspects of horticulture, including applied science, crop production and sustainability”.

Chris added: “We are thrilled to learn that Melissa’s exceptional work on desert plants has been acknowledged by the RHS. 

“Students at Eden Project University Centre not only have the opportunity to earn a university-level degree from the University of Plymouth, but also gain hands-on practical experience at a renowned visitor attraction and garden.” 

• For more on the university level programmes available through The Cornwall College Group, visit cornwall.ac.uk/university