A 17 year old who previously had only five years of formal primary education, has been named best horticulture and landscape design student of his year group at Oatridge College in West Lothian.
Mark McKenzie a Romany Gypsy, whose family has a home at Fauldhouse in West Lothian but spends much of the year on the road, broke with travellers’ tradition by going to college at all.
As a child he attended four different primary schools in the Scottish Borders and Ayrshire, but since he was just ten years old Mark has worked in his father’s garden landscaping business, which takes the family all over the UK and Europe. He came top of his class at Oatridge after studying for a Certificate in Landscape Construction and Design. He has now returned to the College, which specialises in education and training for workers in the rural industries, to study part-time for his Higher National Certificate in Landscape Management.