New garden experts to be produced from apprenticeship scheme

The nations gardeners could soon have a new generation of horticulture experts following the news that a £1 million apprenticeship scheme is set to be launched today (March 24th).

Housing minister Margaret Beckett will announce the deal at the ParkCity conference in London and it is hoped the project will produce the next Alan Titchmarsh.

Before becoming a TV personality, Titchmarsh started his horticultural career as a trainee with Ilkley Council in 1964.

He now presents the Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV and has a programme on Radio 2 on Sunday evenings.

Ms Becket will tell delegates at the conference that the UKs parks and green spaces are at the frontline of the battle against global warming.

"If we really are to tackle climate change and protect both our environment and our health, green spaces need to be at the heart of our communities," she will say, after explaining that the trainees will develop their skills while helping their local areas.