Stephen McCallum has made a considerable contribution to Scottish Horticulture, most recently as Head of Gardens for the MacRobert Trust where he instituted a successful Horticultural Training Scheme for trainee and apprentice horticulturalists based at Douneside House, Tarland. In the past seven years, 22 students have participated in the Scheme, going on to successful careers with a range of employers including the National Trust, RBGE, Historic Scotland, the RHS, the Prince’s Trust, Glasgow Council and a number of privately-owned gardens.

Such has been the success of the scheme that the MacRobert Trustees approved an increased intake of trainees from 4 to 6 from 2017 and the possibility of one or two year traineeships and there are currently 6 trainees.

His achievements at Douneside as Head of Gardens has resulted in the successful remodelling of much of the estate, including the planting of rare and interesting trees, the establishment of an ornamental garden adjacent to the House and the improvement of the walled garden. His responsibilities extend to the strategic and operational management of ornamental and productive horticulture and ornamental arboriculture for the MacRobert Trust’s 7,200-acre Estate.

An important contributory factor to Stephen’s success at Douneside is his openness to new ideas and his mentoring abilities. The students – past and present – speak warmly of their time under his supervision and the contribution he made to their development.

Before Douneside, Stephen was responsible for the implementation, construction and management of a 3-acre purposed built and specialised garden development for Tern Television – The Beechgrove Garden. While at Beechgrove, where he was Head Gardener, he introduced a volunteer programme to augment permanent staffing.

Stephen is a Chartered Horticulturalist and serves on the Scottish Committee of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and the Board of Trustees for Scotland’s Garden Scheme.

An important contributory factor to Stephen’s success at Douneside is his openness to new ideas and his mentoring abilities. The students – past and present – speak warmly of their time under his supervision and the contribution he made to their development.

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