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Arborist - Mike Crawshaw

For an Arborist, aiming high is an obvious part of the job but with Mike Crawshaw it is more of an ethos, which has helped him achieve goals in spite of losing his right leg to cancer. Aged 17 Mike had his right leg amputated after discovering he had bone cancer.

“I was always very active and after the operation and treatment for my illness I decided I wasn’t going to let it get in the way of doing the things I loved. In fact it made me more determined to lead an active life.”

Mike learned to climb as an amputee and while working in IT joined a local climbing club.

Assistant Harvesting Manager - Euan Christie

As far back as he can remember Euan Christie has been involved in forestry. His father worked as a head forester on an estate, and Euan spent many week-ends and holidays working alongside his father. Confident that this was the career for him, Euan attended Inverness College where he completed a Higher National Certificate, followed by a Higher National Diploma in forestry, which included a placement year. 

Garden Manager - Susan Stuart

When Susan Stuart joined Thrive at Battersea Park as Garden Manager in 2006 she wanted to make a difference. She has. But she would agree the difference made by her (and to her) by Thrive is nothing compared to the beneficial effects of the charity’s way of training - and opening doors - for ‘those touched by disability’… whether through physical impairment, a learning disability or mental ill health.

Head Gardener - Liz Ensor

Apprenticeship training might be more often associated with big companies but an apprentice can gain much broader experience in a small organisation. This is the case at Shenley Park in Hertfordshire where two horticulture apprentices have become invaluable members of the team. Liz Ensor is Head Gardener at the 45-acre rural park created after the closure of a psychiatric hospital on the site, which dates back to the Domesday Book. She says apprentices gain a unique understanding working in a small team of five such as hers.

Farmer - Marcus Ferraro

The experience of growing up on his family farm in Wales inspired 21-year-old Marcus to pursue a career in agriculture. "It was an obvious choice for me" says Marcus, who started farm work in his early teenage years. He gained a wealth of experience on his family farm, and at the age of 13 went to work on other farms in the local area too.

Dog Trainer - Jacqui Law

Jacqui Law from Carmarthenshire in South Wales is a Director at Extremus Dog Training.

Despite being interested in working with animals from a young age, it was only once her children had finished school that Jacqui decided to pursue her dream of a career in animal care.

Arboriculturist and Ecologist - Steve Cutmore

As a teenager, Steve Cutmore was determined to work in forestry. Despite having no formal qualifications in the subject, he didn’t give up and managed to secure a role as Gardener on the Brocket Hall Estate in Hertfordshire. "I started this position in 1986" he says.

Advanced Equine Apprentice - Lauren Page

Twenty-one-year-old Lauren Page works as an Advanced Apprentice in the equine industry. Lauren began her working life with no qualifications, so at first she found it challenging to evidence her knowledge of horses: “It was hard to get a job as everyone wanted proof of what I could do and I only had the words of family and friends, so I decided to look into NVQs.” Lauren joined a Gloucestershire-based training centre and went on to achieve an Apprenticeship in Work-Based Horse Care Level 2.

Animal Care Apprentice - Lucia Roberts

“I decided on a career in animal care because I have always had an interest and a love for all kinds of animals since I was a little girl, especially dogs” says 20-year-old Apprentice Lucia Roberts from North Wales.

Lucia is currently undertaking an Animal Care Apprenticeship through Coleg Cambria Deeside and works at Pet & Equine Services in Ruthin, North Wales. Lucia completed Level 1 Animal Care at Coleg Cambria Llysfasi and is currently studying for Level 2 through her Apprenticeship which she started in December 2013.

Horticulture Apprentice - Lloyd Morgan

Lloyd Morgan is a Horticulture Apprentice from Pontyclun, Mid Glamorgan. He is undertaking his Apprenticeship through Bridgend College’s Pencoed Campus.

His time studying horticulture at Tonypandy Community College sparked his interest in a career in the industry. Lloyd undertook his Levels 1 and 2 Diploma in Horticulture at college which helped him secure his Apprenticeship. Starting in November 2013, Lloyd’s Apprenticeship combines practical hands-on work at Miskin Manor Hotel in Pontyclun with college-based learning.