Take the Children on an Adventure that's Out of this World at RHS Garden Wisley this Summer

Friday 15 July 2016

FREE summer activities every day of the summer holidays for children at RHS Garden Wisley

You can reach for the stars this summer at RHS Garden Wisley in our Rocket Science-themed summer holidays.

From Saturday 23 July to Wednesday 31 August, RHS Garden Wisley is celebrating British European Space Agency Astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the International Space Station, and some very special Rocket seeds: 2kg to be exact. RHS Garden Wisley presents Rocket Science, the event over the summer holidays with a range of special activities for families.

The activities have been inspired by this ground-breaking nationwide experiment aimed at studying the effects of microgravity in space on plants for food production. The RHS Campaign for School Gardening has been working in partnership with the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency allowing 600,000 UK schoolchildren the chance to grow seeds that had been to space for a science research project.

Pupils from St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Leatherhead were delighted to be involved in this pioneering project.

“It was an amazing opportunity to plant these seeds from Tim Peake in space, and exciting to see how plant life might be changed from being in space.” Ania Suchocka, aged 11.

“Rocket Science was an exciting experience for us all to have, because it made us feel special as a school and was one of the first experiments we did in our new Science laboratory.” Ben Church, aged 11.

Year 6 teacher and Science lead Ruth Hall said: “The Rocket Science project was a fabulous opportunity for our children in all classes to explore the concept of space!”

To celebrate this, RHS Garden Wisley has gone space mad and is running a range of activities for children of all ages over the summer holidays. Children can learn what an astronaut needs to survive on a mission, with activities including arts and crafts workshops, seed sowing, music sessions, puppet shows, cookery classes, storytelling and more. There will also be an exciting summer garden trail packed with questions to answer and facts to find for the kids to solve.

We’ve even created a space scene that can be admired from the Top Terrace, with its own astronaut Tim Peake lovingly made out of Alternanthera, Echeveria, Helichrysum, Sempervivum and ‘living meteorites’ made from airplants Tillandsia harrisii. Complete with colourful mixed annual bedding, fake rocks and tufa stone for a more moonlike look, it will spark the imagination. Visitors will also be wowed by our giant planted space rocket on display at the top of Battleston Hill.

If that wasn’t enough, the whole family can stock up on rocket fuel in the form of Taste of Wisley, which will be offering a fantastic selection of delicious treats and lunches available from Taste of Wisley cafés and the Food Hall.

Here are just a selection of summer activity highlights:

Construct a giant solar system, 23 – 25 July, 10:30am – 12:30pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm
Create your own solar system from willow sculptures including stars, planets and rockets. These creations will go on display in the Glasshouse from Wednesday 27 July – Thursday 31 August.

Space Cookery, 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 August, sessions at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm
Make your own rocket biscuits, rocket sandwich and rocket sweets. (Booking essential, prices £10 per child, 25 children per session).

Sow & Grow, 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 August
Get the kids inspired and learn how to grow new plants.

Creepy-crawly show, 13 and 14 August, 11am and 2pm
Meet some amazing creatures in this fun-packed show.

All activities are free every day, except Space Cookery and practical craft sessions on Tuesdays that are bookable and chargeable in advance. Please call our booking line on 0203 176 5840 Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. Activities will run from 10:30am – 12:30pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm unless otherwise stated. Visit rhs.org.uk/wisley for more full details. Normal garden admission applies.


Notes to editors

For further information, images and press enquiries contact Karen Bosomworth, Marketing & PR Executive on 01483 212306, email karenbosomworth@rhs.org.uk

Notes to Editors: The rocket seeds returned to Earth earlier this year and were the focus of a huge scientific experiment by more than 600,000 UK schoolchildren, designed to investigate the impact of microgravity and space travel on seed germination and growth. Children compared the growth rate of the ‘space seeds’ with a batch of rocket seeds that had remained on Earth. The findings – which will be released in September 2016 – will help young people to think about how we could preserve human life on long-term missions into space, as well as how to grow food in inhospitable climates, such as those found on other planets.

RHS Garden Wisley
Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB
0845 260 9000 www.rhs.org.uk/wisley
(Calls to RHS ‘08’ numbers cost 5p per minute, plus your telephone service provider’s access charge.)

Opening times
Wisley is open every day except for Christmas Day
Monday – Friday from 10am – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday (including Bank Holidays) from 9am – 6pm
(Closes 4:30pm 24 October 2016 – 12 March 2017). Last admission is one hour before closing time

Admission prices – 10% off with all online ticket purchases (except groups)

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

Non-members (excluding Gift Aid)
Adult £13.00
Family (2 plus 2) £33.25
Children 5 – 16yrs £6.50
Children under 5 years Free
Groups (10+ adults) £11.70 per person

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