New Bloom Federation will Boost Community Gardening Activity in Britain

Monday 3 February 2014

As RHS Britain in Bloom turns 50, the formation of a new federation will help enhance the impact of this UK-wide campaign

Community gardeners are transforming streets and neighbourhoods across the UK and this week the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and sixteen regional and national RHS Britain in Bloom groups* formally came together as a Federation to increase the scale and impact of this activity.

The new Bloom Federation have agreed a shared vision for, and commitment to, the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign and to actively work together in order to support the on-going development of the campaign around the UK.**

The announcement comes as RHS Britain in Bloom turns 50 with the main aims of the Bloom Federation in 2014 being to highlight the huge difference community gardeners make to towns, cities and villages in the UK and to encourage more people to get involved.

Prunella Scarlett LVO***, Chair of the Bloom Federation, said: “What an exciting time for the RHS, the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign and of course, communities around Britain.

“Already, more than 200,000 Bloom volunteers are doing a fabulous job at keeping our streets and neighbourhoods green and tidy in towns, cities and villages all over the UK, saving a collossal £23 million a year in public money.

“Our main aim is to get even more people involved – you really don’t need to be an expert gardener, you just need to care enough about our environment to make a difference!

“We want to establish RHS Britain in Bloom as the world’s leading community gardening campaign to transform communities across the UK, by supporting and inspiring local people to get involved.

“I can’t think of a better year to announce this fantastic partnership than during the fiftieth anniversary of RHS Britain in Bloom and I look forward to moving things forward.”

Celebrating this landmark anniversary, people will be ‘Growing for Gold’ as the 2014 theme of RHS Britain in Bloom. Half a million sunflower seeds will be sown in public spaces by gardening groups across all 16 Regions / Nations. For information on how to take part visit:  



Notes to editors

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

* The Bloom Federation Board consists of Chair Prunella Scarlett – a member of the RHS Horticulture Board – and Vice Chair, Eileen Burn – Chair of Northumbria in Bloom, Chairs of the participationg Regions and Nations: (Anglia in Bloom, Cumbria in Bloom, East Midlands in Bloom, Floral Guernsey, Heart of England in Bloom, Jersey in Bloom, Keep Scotland Beautiful, London in Bloom, Northumbria in Bloom, North West in Bloom, South & South East in Bloom, South West in Bloom, Thames & Chilterns in Bloom, Translink Ulster in Bloom, Wales in Bloom, Yorkshire in Bloom) and the RHS Director of Education, Funding and Communities, Ruth Evans.

**Bloom Federation shared Vision:

Our vision is for the RHS Britain in Bloom Campaign to transform communities across the UK, by supporting and inspiring local people to garden together.

We want people everywhere in the UK to get actively involved in making their neighbourhoods thriving, friendlier and greener places to live.

Through our Bloom Federation, we will make the RHS Britain in Bloom Campaign the voice of community gardening, encouraging everyone to get involved in enriching their own neighbourhood.

***Prunella Scarlett, Chair of the Bloom Federation

Prunella was appointed as the first Chairman of the Bloom Federation in December 2013. She is also Chairman of the Herbaceous Plant Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society, and a regular judge at RHS Shows. She retired from the RHS Council in June 2013 after ten years and previously served on the Society’s fundraising, education and nominations committees. She also represented the RHS on the Council of the National Trust.

Her professional background has been in Commonwealth Affairs, primarily with the Royal Commonwealth Society as Director, Commonwealth Affairs and then with the Commonwealth Business Council, travelling extensively. She has had a long involvement in the charitable sector as Chairman or Board Member of such organisations as the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council; LEPRA (dealing with leprosy, TB and HIV); THRIVE (gardening for disability); Crown Agents Foundation and the Round Table.

Prunella is a passionate gardener with a deep love of plants since childhood. She is developing her cottage garden in Kent and runs her family’s woodland garden, which is open to the public in May.
Eileen Burn, Vice Chair of the Bloom Federation

Eileen was appointed as the Vice Chairman of the Bloom Federation in December 2013. She is also the Chairman of Northumbria in Bloom, having been elected in 2005, and has been a senior judge with them since 2003, having first become a judge in 1999.

Her professional background lies in PR and administration, firstly with Scottish Opera for many years, followed by a long period as Bishop's PA and diocesan secretary for the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney.

Eileen first became involved in horticulture on her allotment in the early 1970's. She is passionate about gardening and has two Victorian walled gardens, which she and her husband keep in full vegetable, fruit and herbaceous production, along with the restoration of a shrubbery and small area of mixed woodland. She is chairman of the local gardening group, which she co-founded in 2002.

About RHS Britain in Bloom
RHS Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest community gardening campaign, involving more than 200,000 people. In 2014, the campaign celebrates its 50th anniversary as Britain’s favourite gardening campaign. As part of RHS Britain in Bloom – and its sister campaign, RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood – volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to improve their local environment, using gardening as a tool.
To find out more, visit:  

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. 209 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