Harlow Carr Mentors Inspire Next Generation of Yorkshire Gardeners

Tuesday 30 August 2016

• Yorkshire secondary schools sign up to ten-week competition • Experts from RHS Garden Harlow Carr and the horticultural industry to mentor pupils as they design new green spaces • Chance for youngsters to develop teamwork and creative skills

Green-fingered staff from RHS Garden Harlow Carr and horticultural organisations throughout the region have signed up to volunteer their time and expertise to help inspire Yorkshire gardeners of the future.

A nine-strong team from Harlow Carr in Harrogate will be joined by representatives from Horticap, Craven College, Johnsons of Whixley, Grace Landscapes, Green-tech, Hare Spring Cottage Plants, Notcutts, Freshscaped, Gritit and Buglife to mentor teams of secondary-school pupils from throughout the Yorkshire region as part of the RHS ‘Green Plan It Challenge’. This 10-week creative competition is designed to teach young people new skills – including teamwork, design and planning – and to develop their creativity and foster a love of gardening, either as a hobby or potential career choice.

Teams from secondary schools in Yorkshire have signed up to take part in the project: St Aidan’s in Harrogate; King James’s in Knaresborough; Manor Academy & Canon Lee School in York; St Bede’s, Dixons Allerton Academy & Parkside School in Bradford; and St Wilfrid’s in Pontefract.

With each team supported by an industry mentor, Key Stage 3 students in Year 8 and 9 will work in groups of up to six to design a new green space – either at their school or within the local community. They will use a range of materials and media to bring their ideas to life. Through the process students will learn about the importance of plants and green space to people and places in the real world.

Feedback from the 2015 pilot project held in the South East of England identified significant improvement in skills such as leadership, teamwork, presentation and creative thinking.

Gavin Hardy from the RHS Yorkshire Community Outreach Team is coordinating the project. He said: “The RHS Green Plan It Challenge is a fabulous opportunity for pupils to engage with the local environment, apply some new skills, and gain exposure to the diverse range of careers available within the horticulture industry.

“The volunteer mentors will help to inspire the students and guide them through the process – but it is the students themselves who will be in the driving seat: they will choose the location, identify community needs and environmental issues, as well as developing and testing their design ideas while learning how best to work as a team.”

The project will begin with a regional launch event at RHS Garden Harlow Carr on 28 September where the teams will meet their mentors for the first time. Then, in December, all participating students will be invited to a judging and celebration day. Each team will present their designs to an expert judging panel judging panel including RHS Garden Harlow Carr Curator Paul Cook.

For further information call Gavin Hardy on 07715 960327, email GreenPlanIt@rhs.org.uk or visit schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/Careers/Green-Plan-It

For press queries please contact Sasha Jackson-Brown on 01423 724651, email sashajacksonbrown@rhs.org.uk or Ali Aston on 01423 724693, email aliaston@rhs.org.uk.




Notes to editors

RHS Garden Harlow Carr
Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 1QB

Opening times
Harlow Carr is open every day except for Christmas Day
9.30am – 4pm November to February inclusive
9.30am – 6pm March to October inclusive
Last admission is one hour before closing time

Admission prices
RHS members enjoy free entry with a family guest
(entitlements may vary according to membership type)

Non-members (excluding Gift Aid)
Adult £10.00
Family (2 plus 2) £25.50
Children 5 – 16yrs £5.00
Children under 5 years Free
Groups £9.00

About the RHS Green Plan It Challenge
The RHS Green Plan It Challenge, involving up to 900 secondary-school pupils across the UK, launches this autumn in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Harrogate, London, Newcastle, Norwich and Salford. Supported by industry mentors, students will work in small teams on a 10-week project to design a new green space, using a range of materials and media to bring their ideas to life. Through the process they will learn about the importance of plants to people and places in real world contexts. Students will compete against local schools, present their designs, and celebrate their achievements at events round the country in December to mark the end of the Challenge

The RHS Green Plan It Challenge has been designed to be student led, allowing young people to explore community needs and environmental issues, which means that it has broad curriculum relevance in subjects such as Science, D&T, PSHE and Citizenship. The programme also aims to inspire young people to think about horticulture in different ways, to build their skills and to gain insight into a wide range of exciting careers – from plant science and design to gardening and journalism – in an industry that currently faces a skills shortage.

Visit schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/Careers/Green-Plan-It  for further details

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 help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join

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