Thursday 26 June 2014
Dedicated school Eco Club recognised in national RHS competition
A 39-strong Eco Club at Ysgol Esgob Morgan in St Asaph, Denbighshire has been named RHS School Gardening Team of the Year 2014 for their fantastic teamwork and enthusiasm.
The panel of judges, which included ITV’s Love Your Garden presenter, Frances Tophill, broadcaster and gardening editor, Peter Seabrook and Head of Site at RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Ian Le Gros, were impressed by the team’s commitment to improving their school grounds and local community, as well as their ability to mentor younger members of the club and pass on skills to pupils from local schools.
Between January and May this year, nominations for gardening clubs and groups from across the UK came pouring in to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening offices and just four teams were selected as finalists. Each was given a digital camcorder to make a short film that would show the judging panel their passion for gardening, their ability to work together and their dedication to the school and local community.
Over just a couple of years, the group has developed the schools grounds into a gardening haven, complete with their resident chickens, and has helped improve the local community by litter picking and planting up banks of the River Elwy. Older members of the team were shown to take on a mentoring role, passing on skills to younger members of the group so they can continue to grow and develop the school garden in the future, as well as sharing skills with children from other schools to help them develop their own gardens.
Ysgol Esgob Morgan beat off stiff competition from Ashleigh Primary School in Lancashire, Charters School in Berkshire and President Kennedy School in Coventry.
Frances Tophill said: “Esgob Morgan’s video was outstanding and wouldn’t fail to put a smile on anyone’s face. Even though they are such a large team, they all work superbly together and take great care in everything they do. They have developed a beautiful garden in the school and it is clear this has had an incredibly positive impact on the school as a whole.”
The team’s leader and nominator Richard Hatwood said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the RHS School Gardening Team of the Year Award. It is a testament to the dedication, motivation and hard work of the children who attend Eco Club and develop their garden and those in the local community. The children don’t just attend club once a week, there are children tending to their gardens from 8am in the morning until 6pm at night – using every spare minute of their time outside of lessons, come rain or shine! I’m so proud of their achievement”.
As this year’s crowning champion, Esgob Morgan has won an engraved trowel, £500 in gardening vouchers, a selection of tools, a pair of gardening gloves for each club member and a fantastic Keder Greenhouse worth £1,855.
RHS School Gardening Team of the Year is a new category that was added to this year’s RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition. RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year, awarded to an inspirational gardening teacher, was also added.
George Hassall, eight years old from Buckton Vale Primary School in Carrbrook, near Greater Manchester, was named RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2014 after wowing judges with his infectious enthusiasm, passion and impressive knowledge of gardening. Noreen Daw, a Higher Level Teaching Assistant at Imberhorne School in East Grinstead, West Sussex was awarded RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year 2014 for her incredible dedication to school gardening.
Peter Seabrook said: “Each year this competition shows us just what young people are achieving across the UK and the standard is always outstanding. The introduction of the two additional categories is also a fantastic way of recognising the team efforts of schools and also the teachers who lead them to success.”
Alana Tapsell at the RHS Campaign for School Gardening says: “We are absolutely delighted for the Eco Club at Ysgol Esgob Morgan, as well as their leader Richard. Their enthusiasm is infectious and there is great pride in the work they carry out. The team is a credit to the school and the local community.”
Esgob Morgan’s video and the other finalists’ videos can be viewed on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s YouTube page at youtube.com/RHSSchoolGardening.
The RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition is part of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening which is now supporting almost 19,000 schools across the UK. RHS research has shown that gardening can help children develop by teaching them life skills and improving their wellbeing.
Notes to editors
For more information and images, please contact Alana Tapsell, Schools Communications Officer for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ed Horne in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3356 or email email@example.com
About the RHS Campaign for School Gardening
The RHS actively involves almost 19,000 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. rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening.
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 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. 210 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.org.uk.
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.org.uk/join.
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262