Monday 11 November 2013
RHS Ambassadors to help the UK’s gardening charity promote and celebrate horticulture
The RHS is delighted to announce that Alan Titchmarsh will be the charity’s founder RHS Ambassador. In the role Alan will continue to champion the industry-wide campaign, Horticulture Matters, to raise the profile of careers in horticulture.
For the first time the RHS is inviting a group of exceptional and influential individuals to be RHS Ambassadors to promote horticulture and help the charity make a difference to people’s lives, secure the future of horticulture and help safeguard the planet.
Alan, an RHS Vice President, is the first RHS Ambassador, and in the role will continue to highlight the critical green skills gap and raise awareness of the breadth of incredible career opportunities in horticulture.
Alan first brought the skills gap to the fore in a high profile speech at the 2011 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He has also provided significant support for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening; today 18,000 schools across the UK garden with the RHS.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, says: “We’re over the moon that Alan has committed to carry on working with us at our shows, in schools, at events and through the media to encourage a new generation of talented horticulturists.
“One of the first things we’ll do with Alan in his new role is invite young horticulturists to sit down with us and share why they think horticulture has a poor image amongst their peers and what action they can help us to take to change the perception of horticulture.
“Alan’s support of the RHS over the years has been crucial and his passion to promote horticulture is second to none; we’re honoured he has agreed to be our first RHS Ambassador.
“The final line-up of RHS Ambassadors will range from young trailblazers in horticulture to well-known celebrities who simply love gardening. They will help the RHS to share the lifestyle benefits of gardening, raise the profile of horticultural careers to inspire future talent, and work with us to promote the science, art and practice of horticulture.”
The RHS Ambassadors will be announced in Spring next year.
Notes to editors
For more information please contact Hayley Monckton in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A survey of 1,000 adults, aged 18 to 56+, across the whole of the United Kingdom in March 2012, revealed:
• Nearly 70% of 18-year-olds do not think gardening is a career to be proud of
• Nearly 80% of under-25-year-olds are not interested in a career in horticulture
• Almost 50% of under-25-year-olds do not think gardening is a career to be proud of
• Almost 50% of under-25-year-olds do not think gardening is a skilled career
• Nearly 70% of 18-year-olds think gardening should only be considered as a career if you have failed academically
• Almost 25% say not knowing enough about careers in horticulture is why they are not interested in a career in horticulture
• 70% of all adults questioned said horticulture/gardening was not highlighted to them as an opportunity by their careers advisor or teacher when leaving education
A survey of 200 horticultural businesses in 2013 showed that only 15% of the industry is under 25 years old and 46% is over the age of 45. In a poll of 20 UK growers last year, 95% of horticultural growers questioned said they struggled to find enough young British job applicants with sufficiently good skills to employ.
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.
Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 200 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262