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A gardening trainee at The Trentham Estate has secured a place to train at the prestigious Kew Gardens in southwest London.

Naomi Paine, 29, began working at The Trentham Estate last September as part of The Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme (HBGTP) and will begin training at Kew Gardens in August. The HBGTP helps enthusiastic horticulturalists grow their careers by providing paid placements at prestigious gardens across the UK.

Owned by expert developer and regeneration specialist St. Modwen, The Trentham Estate forms part of a £100 million regeneration scheme and is one of the UK’s top tourist and leisure destinations.

In 2014, The Trentham Estate received a Highly Commended Award in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category at the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. A year later, the North-Staffordshire attraction was named the UK’s ‘Garden of the Year’ in the annual BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards.

In February, The Trentham Estate was awarded a third, consecutive Gold Accolade in the prestigious annual VisitEngland Attraction Quality Scheme assessment, which recognises attractions where the visitor experience is of the highest quality.

Kew Gardens is a World Heritage Site and is home to one of the world’s largest Victorian glasshouses, recently reopened by Sir David Attenborough.

Naomi said: “This is an amazing opportunity for me. The HBGTP staff, managers and supervisors at The Trentham Estate have supported me so much in helping to make this dream a reality. I couldn’t recommend the scheme enough for anybody who wants to get ahead in horticulture.

“Coming from Camden in London, working in such spacious and varied gardens as The Trentham Estate has been a very educational experience for me, and my training here has been extremely comprehensive and enjoyable.

“It has been very interesting to be part of a major landscape restoration at Trentham Gardens and it’s great that St. Modwen is supporting the development of beautiful spaces like Trentham, and schemes like HBGTP.”

Michael Walker, Head of Garden and Estate at Trentham, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for Naomi, who has shown an incredible amount of hard work and talent as one of Trentham’s three HBGTP students. I am extremely proud that Trentham has been able to support her this far.

“Providing skills and experience to those entering the gardening profession has been an important value to us since we began improving the gardens in 2004. Our students have always made an extremely valuable contribution to the gardening team. Naomi is currently one of three HBGTP students, who together with two other Trentham trainees, we have high hopes for.”

Joanne Illsley, HBGTP Training Support Officer at English Heritage, said: ”Naomi has been a fantastic trainee and has taken every opportunity to develop her skills and knowledge over the past year at Trentham Gardens.

“We are very pleased that she will be continuing her horticultural training at Kew and wish her every success in the future.”

Mike Herbert, Regional Director at St. Modwen, said: “St. Modwen has worked hard to ensure The Trentham Estate is not only a superb place to welcome visitors to, but also to work at. There is a marvellous team of committed and passionate people and Naomi and her peers have played a huge role in helping to create the beautiful gardens that really put Trentham on the map. We wish her all the best as she takes on this exciting new opportunity.”

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