Horticulture Programme

Longford/Westmeath Educational Training Board in conjunction with Westmeath Community Development and Belvedere House Gardens & Park  run a Local Training Initiative in Mullingar.

Purpose of programme:

Designed to provide trained personnel for the Horticulture Industry

Level 5 QQI (Fetac) Accreditation Major award in Horticulture

  • Plant Science
  • Soil Science and Growing Media
  • Plant Identification and use
  • Fruit & Vegetable Production
  • Team Working
  • Organic Production
  • Plant Propogation
  • Plant Protection
  • Work Experience
  • Safe pass
  • Manual Handling

How long is the course?

The course is run for a duration of 50 weeks.  Full Time Monday to Friday.

  • Monday - Thurs 9.30am-4pm
  • Friday 9.30am-1pm

What do you gain?

  • The horticulture programme provides training within the 17th century walled garden at Belvedere House, Garden and Park, Mullingar with Access to over 120 acres for observation and research purposes.
  • Level 5 QQI (Fetac) Accreditation Major Award in Horticulture (CASHX)

Further Education Opportunities

  • Advanced Certificate in Horticulture Level 6, Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin
  • Bachelor of science in Horticulture Level 7-Botanic Gardens
  • Apply for direct entry to the year 2 of the Bachelor of science in Horticulture-Level 7 at Waterford IT.
  • Apply for entry into year 1 bachelor of science in Horticulture-Level 7 at Blanchardstown IT.
  • Level 7 Botanics through the CAO


Entry Requirements

  • Applicants should be between 16 and 35 Years of age with no formal education.
  • Must be well motivated and have a positive attitude towards working in the Horticulture Sector.
  • Must have own transport  to get to and from Belvedere house and Gardens and Westmeath Community Development, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
  • Have a minimum Junior Certificate/Equivalent
  • Experience an advantage
  • Suitable candidates will be selected through interview process
  • This Course requires Garda Vetting.
  • Normal LWETB Allowances will apply.

How to Apply:

Register at your local Employment Office (Intreo) or for more information, contact us directly at Belvedere

For further information and to register for this course, contact your local ETB Office or for more info contact Eileen Mulligan or John Smith or call 087-7923349 or via our Facebook Group Page

Westmeath Horticulture Course star in Dermot O’Neill’s new series “Dermot’s Secret Garden”

Westmeath Horticulture Course star in Dermot O’Neill’s new series “Dermot’s Secret Garden”

Students on Westmeath Community Development Horticulture Course, based in Belvedere House and Gardens got the opportunity of a lifetime to star in the new series of Dermot O’Neill’s programme “Dermot’s Secret Garden” which will air this Thursday 14th February on RTE one at 7pm. 

The series consists of six episodes. Dermot decides to enlist the help of gardening expert and tutor John Smyth and the students of this FAS sponsored Local Training Initiative Gardening course  to help with the arduous task of preparing the ground for their ambitious project. And in return he offers gardening lectures.


Over the last two years Dermot has been involved with the students on varies projects including the building of the LARCC garden project in Multyfarham, restoration of the walled garden at Belvedere and including many projects regarding his own private walled garden at Clondeglass, Co. Laois. This has been a unique opportunity for students to engage with world renowned plant expert ganing knowledge in planting schemes and projects.

Dermot’s private garden is closed to the public and for Dermot to allow our Students to work closely with him is something that Westmeath Community Development is very proud to be part of.  Clondeglass has been very important in Dermot’s personal come back from illness. It houses his own private plant collection and the students have gained important knowledge regarding horticulture through Dermot’s vast knowledge on the subject.

Speaking about the project, John Smyth, Horticulture Tutor, noted  “It has been a unique experience to work with Dermot and all Horticultural students who played their part in bringing Dermot’s dream to life”.

The students are based in Belvedere House and Gardens where they are completing a FETAC level 5 major award in Horticulture under Tutor John Smyth and Co-Ordinator Majella Maher. The course was established in 2009 and it has been oversubscribed every year.  The course is a progression path to further education and many of the students are currently completing the Horticulture degree in Blanchardstown IT and the Botanic gardens. Course coordinator Majella Maher commented “We are looking forward to seeing the impact that the students have made regarding this and we would like to thank everyone who was involved “.

The Programme is sponsored by Westmeath Community Development in association with FAS and Westmeath County Council. If you would like to learn more about the programme and for details on the next Horticulture Programme please contact the course Co-Ordinator Majella Maher 087-7923349 or mmaher@westcd.ie .


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