A YOUNG gardener who credits growing vegetables and flowers for aiding a slow recovery from sudden paralysis and the linked depression, has been shortlisted for a national award.

Ben Thornton, in his late 20s, is shortlisted for an Alan Titchmarsh award for young gardeners. He has already been hailed by TV star presenter Monty Don as an inspiration during covid when many people turned to growing while under lockdown. This summer he won a top award for creating a garden at this summer’s BBC Gardening World show at the NEC in Birmingham and has also won a Great British Growing Award as the Best British Influencer. Previous winners have been Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don.

Ben said: “It’s amazing. I’m over the moon that I am a finalist for the Garden Media Guild Page — ‘Alan Titchmarsh Young Talent Of The Year Award’.

“It’s a great privilege to say I have got to this stage of a prestigious award. I’m looking forward to attending the GMG Awards next mouth at The Savoy Hotel in London.

“What a year it has been and I can’t think of a better way to end this season. Thank you for all your support this year while I took on my biggest challenge to date!

“I’m looking forward to being surround by fellow growers and to get my head back in the gardening mood for the 2024 season.”

Ben, who works in Tavistock, has inspired many through his Young Grower social media pages by growing on his allotment through covid and while battling to stay positive and recover from the paralysis.