Get Fit In The Garden - National Gardening Week 2016 announced

Tuesday 23 February 2016

This year’s week long-celebration will explore the ways in which gardens can help people keep fit

April is an inspirational time to visit beautiful gardens, as they come alive again with the scents and colour of spring-flowering bulbs and trees bursting with blossom. It is also the perfect time for National Gardening Week, which runs from 11 – 17 April 2016 and celebrates all that is wonderful, inspiring and uplifting about gardens – including how they help us to keep fit.

In line with the 2016 theme, ‘Get Fit in the Garden’, gardens will explore the many ways in which they enhance our wellbeing. During National Gardening Week, the four RHS Gardens will be running activities which show the benefits of keeping active in the nurturing surroundings of a garden. Other gardens, cultural organisations, museums, heritage sites, charities and businesses are being invited to host events and activities which celebrate how gardens contribute to our physical and mental fitness.

Bunny Guinness, landscape architect, journalist and author of the book Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness, will be supporting National Gardening Week this year.

She says: ‘The wonderful thing about gardening is that unlike repetitive exercises at the gym, it can provide all over-body fitness – raking, weeding, digging and other gardening tasks all use different muscles and tests your body in different ways. National Gardening Week will highlight how enjoyable it is to keep fit in your garden, and how it can bring tangible benefits to health.’

Activities planned at the four RHS Gardens – RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, RHS Garden Rosemoor in North Devon and RHS Garden Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire - will include ‘meet the gardeners’ sessions looking at the aspects of their roles that keep gardeners and horticulturists healthy and happy, and Tai-Chi classes. The RHS will also be revealing fascinating facts and tips on ways to keep fit, and the four gardens will be open for free on Friday 15 April.

The aim of National Gardening Week is to raise awareness of the diversity, richness and cultural value of the UK’s gardens and encourage new visitors to experience and value them. The four RHS Gardens will be leading the campaign, with other gardens across the UK encouraged to take part. In 2015 hundreds of events were held during the week at gardens, museums, community groups and parks across the UK.

Matthew Pottage, Curator at RHS Garden Wisley, said: “At our four gardens we will be looking at ways to show how everyday activities such as digging, raking and hoeing can keep you fit. We are planning a raft of activities and we hope that other gardens across the country will join ‘Get Fit in the Garden’ too.”

Gardens can register at  to be part of National Gardening Week, and visitors are encouraged to check for details of events closer to the time.

For more information about National Gardening Week or National Open Gardens Day visit . For press enquiries, please contact Hannah Dolby on 020 7821 3042, or email


Notes to editors

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 £10.4 billion industry employing more than 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 secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit

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

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262