The 2020 BASIS Brian Chambers Award for excelling in the FACTS plant nutrition examination has been awarded to horticultural manager Gordon Flint.

Mr Flint has over 26 years of experience in the horticulture industry, including spells as managing director and chairman of Winchester Bulb Growers. In 2015 he founded his own peony-growing business, New Horizon Flowers, based in Spalding.

“My retirement project for growing peonies soon became more than just a hobby. It was apparent that there’s little UK- based agronomic information on peonies, so I put myself through BASIS and then FACTS.

“I chose to do the FACTS agriculture module, as I believe that producing peonies successfully has more in common with certain agricultural crops, than with nursery stock or glasshouse horticulture.” He believes the key message from the course was the importance of soil health and soil structure.

Stephen Jacob, BASIS chief executive, says Mr Flint demonstrates the role that BASIS training has at any stage of a career. “His achievement shows it’s never too late to choose a new career path, and that keeping up to date on training and regulation will always play a key role in the agricultural and horticultural industries. His drive to learn really shone through on the course, and we’re delighted to award him this accolade.”