Chris Collins Calls on Wales to Celebrate its Young Gardeners

Thursday 18 April 2013

Blue Peter gardener, Chris Collins is calling on teachers in Wales to nominate pupils for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Young School Gardener of the Year award, after only three out of a possible 1,700 schools put pupils forward last year.

The award started in 2012 and is open to all RHS Campaign for School Gardening schools, of which there are over 16,700 in the UK. It was launched to raise awareness of the range of benefits that gardening at school can bring to pupils, and to celebrate gardening skills and passion in young people. It is aimed at children up to the age of 16.

The deadline for nominations is May 18 so time is slipping away and Blue Peter gardener, Chris Collins, has a message for teachers of Wales: “This award is a touch of genius and reflects on the RHS commitment to get schools growing and all things associated with the magical world of plants. We’re in gorgeous Wales, It’s National Gardening Week and we’re at my favourite RHS Show where there’s just so many quality activities to get youngsters engaged with gardening. I can’t think of a better opportunity to call on teachers, school heads and school staff of Wales to go to the RHS website and nominate the kids who tick all the boxes. We’re looking for passion and ability, surely there are more than three students in Wales who can garden – we want to hear from you! ”

11-year-old Lucas Hatch won the competition last year by impressing judges with his talent for gardening, his enthusiasm for growing and his impressive horticultural knowledge. For all of last year’s finalists, the last 12 months have been filled with press interviews, newspaper features, TV appearances, trips to RHS shows and gardens, and much more. Schools which successfully nominate finalists receive up to £500 worth of gardening vouchers to help develop outdoor projects.

To nominate an inspiring pupil, visit by May 18 and fill out a short form detailing why the student should be named RHS Young School Gardener of the Year. A shortlist of 16 will receive free digital camcorders for their school to produce a short video for the judges. The videos which will be reviewed by judges including The Sun’s gardening editor, Peter Seabrook, children’s TV star, Dominic Wood and key RHS staff.

RHS Flower Show Cardiff (19-21 April) has some fun activities taking place across the whole site ideal for children. Features include tree-climbing, an owl-area, bee-friendly gardening and arts and crafts.


Notes to editors

For more information and please contact Ed Horne on 020 7821 3356, or

About the RHS Campaign for School Gardening
The RHS actively involves more than 16,700 schools across the UK in growing and gardening through its Campaign for School Gardening. Children are taught about plants and gardening and their environment. Through gardening they learn about healthy fruit and vegetables, wildlife and important life skills such as teamwork, social skills and co-operation. Huge benefits are to be had from using an outdoor classroom where children can learn in a fun, engaging way. Information, lesson plans and advice for schools is provided online and is backed up by support from the RHS education team and Campaign for School Gardening Regional Advisors.  

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, the first of our gardens, 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.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 200 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

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


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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