RHS Appoints Olympic Park Garden Designer for RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Thursday 24 March 2016

• Nigel Dunnett announced as masterplanner for RHS Garden Harlow Carr, in Harrogate, North Yorkshire • RHS Garden Harlow Carr announces a record year of visits in 2015, meaning visitor numbers have grown by 27 percent since 2011 • Nigel’s appointment is the latest stage in the wider RHS Vision to invest in the future of horticulture

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) today announces its plans to work with one of the UK’s foremost landscape designers, Nigel Dunnett, to develop its masterplan for RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr already welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, with more than 375,000 in attendance in 2015, a record year. However, Nigel’s appointment marks the latest stage in the Society’s investment in its northernmost garden following the purchase of the Harrogate Arms in 2015, demonstrating the charity’s commitment to fully realising Harlow Carr’s potential.

Set in an enchanting Yorkshire valley, Harlow Carr offers a wide range of horticultural landscapes for visitors, from running and still water to woodland and wildflower meadows. Nigel will work with the Harlow Carr teams to build on the success of the garden and further develop its distinctive identity.

RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, says: “We are absolutely thrilled that such a hugely influential and innovative landscape designer is on board to develop the masterplan for RHS Garden Harlow Carr. The garden already provides an inspiring and important resource for the region and, with Nigel’s proven vision and the talent already in place, Harlow Carr will be propelled to new horticultural heights and we hope, firmly established as a powerhouse on the UK visitor attraction scene.”

Nigel Dunnett adds: “I am very excited by this invitation to review the existing plan for Harlow Carr and carry the garden forward on its journey. It’s a fascinating project as, for a relatively small space, there is huge ecological diversity already present: from the stream running almost the full length of the terrain, to the north- and south-facing valley slopes. This provides great potential for a stunning range of horticultural displays and an intense, impactful visitor experience.”

From opening up the Streamside planting area, to creating an inspiration zone dedicated to small gardens, the Harlow Carr masterplan forms part of a wider RHS campaign of investment in northerly gardens that aims to inspire future generations, and follows the acquisition in December 2015 of a fifth garden site near Salford, Greater Manchester: RHS Garden Bridgewater.

For more information, please contact the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3043, email pressoffice@rhs.org.uk  or call Caroline Craig on 020 7821 3177.

Images of RHS Garden Harlow Carr are available on PhotoShelter. Registration is a simple process and free of charge. Please contact pressoffice@rhs.org.uk  to gain access.


Notes to editors

Nigel Dunnett is an RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold medal winner, designing four Chelsea Flower Show gardens. In 2015 he designed the flagship RHS ‘Greening Grey Britain’ garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. He and James Hitchmough were the principal planting design and horticultural consultants for the London Olympic Park, and for its transition to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. At the forefront of innovative ideas and techniques in ecological design and landscape planting, he is Professor of Planting Design and Urban Horticulture, and Director of The Green Roof Centre, at the University of Sheffield. For the Harlow Carr masterplan he will be supported by long-time collaborators, The Landscape Agency.

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 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, through our scientific research, website, publications, libraries, education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants. We’re committed to promoting the value of gardens, demonstrating how gardening is good for us and explaining the vital roles that plants play in a sustainable world.

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

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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