The Christine Ladley Fund

To commemorate the life of Christine Ladley (see below), a funding initiative in education, travel and work experience has been established by the Trustees of the WFGA and her partner Lars-Olav Nicolls.

The Fund will provide financial support of projects in both horticulture and agriculture with a desire to see those who seek training, reach and fulfil their goals. This funding is open to all WFGA members of 12 months’ standing and who are British citizens ordinarily resident with the U.K. Applicants are invited to present a strong case to receive funding for an activity in pursuit of a new career within the areas of horticulture and agriculture, which they would not otherwise be able to undertake.

The Application form will be available from 1st April 2024.  Applications must reach the office by 24th May to be considered.

Members can download the Application Form and Terms and Conditions from the Christine Ladley section on the WFGA Members Forum.


About Christine Ladley


Christine Ladley

Christine Ladley

Christine’s life followed a similar pattern to many members of the WFGA, in that she became interested in gardening following marriage. Throughout her varied career she had two principal leisure interests: the theatre and gardening. She acted in numerous plays and developed directing skills, tackling controversial productions whilst at the Open University.

Gardening was an enduring interest, starting with a vegetable patch, then the re-modelling of the garden at her last home. Grasses were a particular favourite and she grew annuals and salad vegetables in a greenhouse. She improved her skills and knowledge and looked forward to gardening becoming her principal retirement recreation. Sadly that was not to be and Christine died in December 2006 at the age of 60.

Had she known about the WFGA earlier in her life, she might well have been a candidate to participate in the WRAG Scheme, the support of which she would most surely have endorsed.

The Spinks Charity

The Spinks Charity, was created by the Will of the late Margaret Spinks of Churcham near Gloucester, 1921-2014.

Miss Spinks was a market gardener who gave a great deal of her time and money to the cause of training people in her profession. She was a long standing supporter of the WFGA.

The main object of the charity is to financially support people of all ages while they train for careers in horticulture or agriculture – for example by paying fees which otherwise they would be unable to afford

Applicants should write or email to the charity in the first instance and they will then send an application form requesting full details. Grants will be means-tested.



NGS Bursary

The National Garden Scheme has kindly made a grant to the WFGA to enable more gardens to join our unique WRAG training scheme and to support practical horticultural training around the country.  Hopefully at the same time this will widen the number of Gardens that join the National Garden Scheme.   The bursaries are awarded by the Trustees of the WFGA to gardens that are nominated by their Regional Managers and meet specific criteria.  An effort is made to distribute these across Britain.

RHS Bursaries

The RHS provides a range of bursaries.  To find out more please go to;

RHS Bursaries

The RHS also administers a bursary on behalf of the NGS to support community gardens.  Details of the Elspeth Thomas Bursary can be found at;

Elspeth Thomas NGS Bursary

Professional Gardeners Trust

Support for garden training and qualifications

Whilst a WRAGS traineeship gives a really good grounding in practical horticulture skills, it may well be that you are considering gaining some extra qualifications to beef up your CV as you get towards the end of your placement. Those courses and qualifications cost money, so when you might already be feeling squeezed by opting for what can still be a fairly low rate of pay, it is good to know that help is at hand.

Make a fund application to the Professional Gardeners Trust

Scotland's Rural College

Helping hand

£1,000 bursaries for mature students

Mature students are being offered a helping hand to return to study with a £1,000 bursary from Scotland’s Rural College.

The Change Your Path Bursary is available to students aged 25 and over to help towards the costs of studying on an HNC, HND or degree course.

Up to 20 bursaries will be offered to new students enrolling on a course starting in September 2019.

“A significant proportion of SRUC’s students are mature students, and many of these are returning to study in the hope of making a career or lifestyle change,” said Marketing and Student Recruitment Manager Hannah D’Mellow.

“We know that returning to study as a mature student comes with challenges, and that finance is only one of these, but we hope that our new Change Your Path bursary will help some students manage the transition.”

The bursary will be offered to both full and part-time students, with two lump sums of up to £500 paid at Christmas and Easter in the first year.

Applications must be submitted by 31 August 2019 and will be ranked by a committee, with successful applicants notified in early September.

For more information about courses available at SRUC visit the website.

For more information, contact: rosie.free@sruc.ac.uk; 0131 535 4219

Scotland’s Gardens Cattanach Fund

Scotland’s Gardens Cattanach Fund is a small grant scheme, new for 2023, for people working or training in horticulture in Scotland. The fund should be used for personal and professional development training relating to horticulture.  For further information and applications please go to their website;

Scotland’s Gardens Cattanach Fund

Please note that this cannot be used for WRAGS Administration fees.

Further Bursary Information

For a comprehensive list of grants available to horticulturalists, please visit;

Chartered Institute of Horticulture – Grants Page