Monty Don awarded honorary degree from University of Stirling

Celebrity gardener Monty Don OBE has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stirling in recognition of his contribution to horticulture, broadcasting, and charity.

Monty celebrated his honorary degree alongside 418 graduates at a ceremony on the Stirling campus today.

Monty said: “I am flattered and delighted to receive this degree from the University of Stirling. Although I have lived my life in England, my family are proudly Scottish, so to receive this honour from a Scottish university is doubly gratifying.” 

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Born Montagu Don in West Berlin, Monty is the great nephew of Scottish botanist George Don. Despite having no formal training, Monty has had a lifelong passion for gardening.

He has been a keen proponent of organic gardening and sustainable beekeeping, and has spoken out about the therapeutic benefits of gardening for mental and physical health, as well as writing about his own struggle with depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

Monty has been affiliated with a number of charities and organisations, including the Bees for Development Trust, the Soil Association and Farms for City Children. In 2018, he was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). 

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Monty has hosted a range of programmes across the BBC and Channel 4, including Channel 4’s Real Gardens and Fork to Fork and, for the BBC, programmes including Monty Don’s Japanese Gardens, Paradise Gardens, and Italian Gardens, Around the World in 80 Gardens, and the Chelsea Flower Show. He has hosted BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World for the best part of two decades. Writing credits include The Observer, Daily Mail and BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. He is also the author of more than 20 books.  

Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “Monty Don is truly inspiring in his field, with interests that span the natural environment, health and wellbeing, and the community. His passions mirror the research and specialisms of the University of Stirling and his commitment to making change in the world aligns with our own purpose. We are proud to have him join our alumni community.” 

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Alex Bestwick
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