Celebrity Seed Packets to support RHS Greening Grey Britain

Monday 29 June 2015

Celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Kate Moss and Sol Campbell have decorated seed packets to be auctioned via eBay to raise funds for the RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign, which aims to transform 6,000 grey spaces in to planted-up green places over the next three years.

• Celebrities decorate seed packets for auction during RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show to raise funds for RHS Greening Grey Britain Campaign
• Money raised will help transform grey community spaces through the
RHS Britain in Bloom campaign
• Mary Berry, Bill Bailey, Joe Swift, Christine Walkden, Jeremy Vine, Jekka McVicar and Vanessa Feltz amongst others also support the campaign by creating ‘Celebrity Seed Packets’
• Mori poll* shows people in the UK value the positive impact of plants in streets and public spaces significantly more than 10 years ago

The Celebrity Seed Packets will be on show at the world’s largest annual gardening event, RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (30 June – 5 July 2015) and auctioned via eBay from Sunday 28 June to Sunday 5 July 2015.

The RHS is launching the Celebrity Seed Packets as a new Mori poll* reveals that people in the UK value plants and the positive impact and benefits they bring to streets, parks and other local spaces significantly more than they did 10 years ago.

A decade ago only 7% of people thought plants were important in our streets and public places to stimulate the senses; today that has risen to 29%. The number of people who think plants are valuable to reflect the changing seasons has doubled, and those of us who believe plants are important to provide year-round colour has risen from a quarter of the population to nearly half.

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “We recently released evidence of an alarming trend of Britain paving over its front gardens and not growing any plants in them.** By paving over our streets, perhaps we’re missing the many wonderful ways that flowers, plants and trees enhance our lives on a daily basis and, therefore, value them more.”

Almost three times as many of people across the UK, nearly one in three, think plants in our streets and community spaces increase the value of the area and property prices. Nearly half of the nation thinks that plants in public places provide a healthier environment for local people and communities, a 10% increase compared to a decade ago.

Sue continued: “We also know from the community gardening movement, RHS Britain in Bloom, that when people get together and green-up and clean up their streets, towns and villages it impacts positively on local businesses. So as well as all the health, wellbeing and environmental benefits of going grey to green, there’s a financial incentive too.

“We’re extremely grateful for the support of everyone who has helped us create the Celebrity Seed Packets to raise funds to transform more grey unloved community spaces into social, bright and vibrant areas bursting with trees, flowers and shrubs,” Sue said.

“Individuals and communities can all get involved with Greening Grey Britain as it can be as big or small as anyone likes, from creating a window box to pulling up paving and growing plants instead. The critical point is that, collectively, we can all make a positive difference – one plant at a time.”

The RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign calls for people and community groups to pledge to plant at rhs.org.uk/ggb and transform a grey space to green.

Celebrity Seed Packets have been created by:
Mary Berry
Fiona Barratt Campbell
Sol Campbell
John Craven
Liz Earle
Baroness Floella Benjamin
Vanessa Feltz
Susan Hampshire
Dr Dawn Harper
Gloria Hunniford
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
Joanna Lumley
Jekka McVicar and her daughter Hannah McVicar
Kate Moss
Joe Swift
Jeremy Vine
Christine Walkden
Tommy Walsh

And more.


Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Hayley Monckton in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3043 or email pressoffice@rhs.org.uk or hayleymonckton@rhs.org.uk.

Images of the show are available on PhotoShelter Registration is a simple process and free of charge. Please contact showspr@rhs.org.uk to gain access.

*Mori poll question to:
2015: 2,009 people aged 15+ in the UK with or without a front garden
2005: 2,071 people aged 15+ in the UK with or without a front garden

Q Which of the following do you think are the most important benefits,
if any, of having plants such as flowers, shrubs and trees in the street,
in parks and in other spaces in your local area?

2005 2015
To provide attractive surroundings 55% 60%
To attract wildlife and provide access to nature for local people 43% 50%
To provide healthier environment for local people and our local community 37% 47%
To provide colour throughout the year 26% 43%
To create areas to spend time and socialise in 26% 38%
To reflect the change in the seasons 14% 34%
To stimulate the senses, rustling leave, scent etc 7% 29%
Increased value of the area / property values 10% 28%
Proof of Local Council commitment to investment in the local area 8% 19%
Don’t know 3

** Mori polls
2015 Mori poll to 1,492 people in the UK aged 15+ with front gardens, 6–22 Mar 2015
2005 Mori poll to 1,723 people in the UK aged 15+ with front gardens, 19–23 May 2005

The polls revealed that three times as many front gardens are paved over compared to 10 years ago, a total increase of 15 square miles of ‘grey’, and that plant cover in front gardens has decreased by as much as 15%. More than 5 million front gardens now have no plants growing in them, 7.24 million are nearly totally paved over, and 4½ million front gardens are completely paved over.

• Please use the following link to the RHS Greening Grey Britain report on front gardens: www.rhs.org.uk/greeninggreybritain

Some examples highlighting why RHS Greening Grey Britain is important
• Hard surfaces increase the flood risk – gardens can soak up rain, while paving, tarmac and concrete are less porous and increase the amount of rainwater that runs off and overwhelms the drainage system by up to 50%
• Vegetation regulates urban temperatures while hard surfaces absorb heat in the day and release it at night causing the ‘heat island effect’ – which can lead to poorer air quality and the increased use of fossil fuel consuming air conditioning units
• The removal of grass verges and the felling of trees to accommodate drop kerbs means dust and pollutants are no longer absorbed, increasing the threat posed by poor air quality and destroying important habitats for birds and insects

About RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (30 June – 5 July 2015)
29 June Preview Evening, 5 – 10.30pm
30 June – 1 July RHS members only
2 – 5 July RHS members and non-members
30 June – 4 July 10am – 7.30pm
5 July 10am – 5.30pm (sell off starts at 4.30pm)

Venue: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU

Tickets: 020 7649 1885 or www.rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourt  

RHS show information: www.rhs.org.uk/shows

Ticket prices range from £13 to £36

Each full-paying adult may bring two children aged 16 and under free of charge to the show.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Preview Evening, Monday 29 June 2015, 5 – 10.30pm
The Preview Evening is a wonderful, relaxed and magical evening. Visitors can spend time listening to live music with friends and family while viewing the beautiful gardens and floral displays before enjoying a range of dining options. The perfect finish to the evening is a magnificent fireworks display with the superb backdrop of Hampton Court Palace. Tickets start at just £55 for RHS members (£65 for non-members). Visit www.rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourtpreview for more information or call 0845 370 0128. (The cost to call RHS ‘08’ numbers will be 5p per minute service charge, plus your telephone service provider’s access charge.)

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, 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. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £16.8 billion industry employing over 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join (The cost to call RHS ‘08’ numbers will be 5p per minute service charge, plus your telephone service provider’s access charge.)

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

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

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262