HRH Earl of Wessex enjoys the Walled Gardens (April 2009)

His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward took time out of a busy schedule on Friday 24 April 2009 to visit staff and students of Bridgwater College. In addition to three other planned visits in Somerset, he landed by helicopter in Cannington as the guest of honour for the official opening of the Walled Gardens of Cannington.

Over 100 children from Cannington Primary School were there to greet him, before he was escorted on a tour of the gardens by The Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Lady Gass, and senior staff from the College.

Prince Edward spent time chatting with a range of staff and students, while visiting the Productive Gardens where students were planting crops, the Glasshouses where activities include replanting, weeding, propagating and potting, and the Lawns where a group of students were working with willow sculptures.

The visit culminated with the planting of a flowering cherry tree, a miniature version of which was presented to Prince Edward as a gift by Landscape Design student Charlotte Darby. The unveiled plaque is due to be mounted inside the Walled Gardens and the visitor book which His Royal Highness signed will be on display in the newly opened Plant Shop.

Head of Land-based Studies Jeremy Kerswell said "His Royal Highness was extremely personable and at ease with everyone he met, and seemed genuinely interested in the developments in the Walled Gardens and spent more time than planned talking to the staff and students. He clearly appreciated the level of work and investment that has gone into restoring the gardens back to their former glory, and now we are delighted that we can share this outstanding resource with future students, the local community and visitors alike."