SRUC Oatridge graduate Sara Ballantyne (41), originally from Penicuik, has won the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Carter-Patterson Medal and Prize for the best student of Horticulture and Gardening in Scotland.
Last year Sara completed two years of study at the Oatridge Campus where she gained her NC and HNC, both with distinction, in Horticulture. Currently living in Edinburgh, Sara continues to work on campus seasonally and is now studying for her HND in plantsmanship at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Ann Burns, Horticulture Team Leader at Oatridge, nominated Sara for the award and said: “My team and I are absolutely delighted that Sara has won arguably the most prestigious award for gardening and horticulture students across Scotland. She is an exceptionally deserving recipient.
“From day one Sara was a mentor and inspiration to those around her which was recognised during SRUC’s 2015 autumn graduation ceremony when she was awarded a special prize presented annually across all our six campuses for ‘The student who has given the most valuable contribution to the educational experience for the campus’.
“The most remarkable thing about Sara’s story is that this is essentially the start of her third career, obviously from the enthusiasm and drive shown she knows that this is the career she has always been searching for.”