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Ben Jones

University Scholarship winner Ben Jones standing next to a sunflower at the University allotment.An Ecology and Conservation student received his second scholarship from Edge Hill University after receiving multiple nominations for his outstanding dedication to maintaining the University’s allotment.

Ben Jones, 23, has gone above and beyond while maintaining the allotment, he visited most days during the first national lockdown, ensuring the plants were watered, weeds were taken out, and the bird feeders were full.

Ben said: “Working on the allotment was amazing for my health and wellbeing during the pandemic. It got me out of the house, gave me plenty of exercise, added structure to my days and I got plenty of fresh air.

“It also gave me this amazing sense of community. I received loads of donations of tools and equipment and repaid them with the vegetables I grew. I loved the whole experience and I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to do it.”

Ben is also the President of Edge Hill’s Eco Garden Society which he formed to enable other students at the University to get involved on the allotment. For a small joining fee, Ben provides seeds and instruction about how to grow their own vegetables as well as introducing members to ways of living sustainably by composting and recycling.

Before Ben came along the allotment was overgrown and under-utilised. He made a number of major improvements including a water feature which attracted the local frogs, a seating and planting area, and a new much larger composting area. Ben even fenced off a dedicated area for the bees who live on campus and purchased bee-friendly plants to support local colonies.

The allotment on the University campus.

Ben, who is currently in his second year at Edge Hill, was awarded a £2,000 University Scholarship.

Speaking of his scholarship Ben says “Because I didn’t have to apply for this myself, it was really nice knowing that my peers recognised my achievements with the allotment, especially the grounds staff. Neil Toner, who is the Grounds Manager at Edge Hill, also nominated me, it was good knowing he saw and appreciated my hard work.”

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