A STUDENT is set to compete to be best young gardener in the country.

Rosie Kippen took top spot in the regional final of the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition.

She will now take part in the grand final of the national competition in May.

Miss Kippen, who also works with gardening guru Alan Titchmarsh on ITV show Love Your Garden, said: “The regional final was really close. I only beat the second place competitor, who was from Cambridge University Botanic Garden, by one point, overtaking her on the very last question.

“I came second in the heat of the competition last year but to win the heat this year and now the regional final has been brilliant.

“I’m really pleased with the result and excited for the final in May.”

The horticulture student, 21, from Wivenhoe, goes to Writtle College, near Chelmsford.

Mick Lavelle, horticulture lecturer at the College, added: “The entrant from Cambridge was also brilliant and it was neck-and-neck right until the end when Rosie won the competition on the very last question.

“I was on the edge of my seat.”

The competition has more than 1,800 entrants every year.

The winner takes home a bursary, worth £2,000.