Sue Foster, BSc (Hons) Horticulture student from Writtle College, has won the IPPS Richard Martyr Award 2006, a national competition which recognises the achievements of those with practical projects testing innovative ideas in plant propagation and production. Rosanna Bowyer, also a BSc (Hons) Horticulture student from Writtle College, was awarded second place.
The Awards are organised by the International Plant Propagators Society (IPPS) and open to nursery staff and college students from across Great Britain and Ireland. They are for those running projects that are essential to the continual drive for improved skills, efficiency and quality in the nursery industry. The winning project is the one that most impresses the judges in terms of its originality, scope, execution and relevance, and which has made the most impact on the personal development of the individuals who have undertaken it.
Sue won the first prize for the work covered by her dissertation which looked at extracting compounds from the tropical plant Cleome gynandra and testing them for their effects in repelling red spider mite, a serious pest of roses. A cheap and easily made plant extract which proves to be effective in repelling mites would be of great interest to cut flower rose growers worldwide.
Sue received a prize of £800 cash plus a free year's membership to the IPPS.