Thursday 18 April 2013
Both organisations to work together promoting gardening in Scotland
For the first time, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) are partnering to share their combined wealth of knowledge and expertise, to build networks, and to educate and inspire people across Scotland about the wonders of gardening.
A key aim of the collaboration will be boosting school gardening and encouraging more young people to get into horticulture. More than 700 schools in Scotland are currently signed up to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, meaning 140,000 pupils in Scotland are benefitting from gardening at school through the scheme.
Similarly, education and learning runs through all RBGE activities. In 2012, 10,800 schoolteachers and pupils benefited from educational visits to RBGE’s four gardens, and 1,250 students attended short and professional courses there.
The RHS and RBGE already have a history of working together, as RBGE is a qualification centre for the RHS. The partnership will allow both organisations to expand significantly on this work and develop more programmes and initiatives across Scotland, to get more people gardening, and boost value for those who support both organisations.
RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, says: “This collaboration is fantastic and builds on an already-rich RHS commitment to gardening communities in Scotland. On top of the schools in Scotland that take part in our Campaign for School Gardening, there are almost 6,000 RHS members in Scotland and 21 partner gardens and there are nearly 300 groups taking part in RHS community gardening schemes, like It’s Your Neighbourhood.
“Like the RHS, the RBGE is known for its work in plant research, conservation, horticulture and education. As influential research bodies and well-respected national institutions, together we have the opportunity to engage with young people and the public to enhance people’s understanding of the role plants play in ensuring a sustainable future. We are very excited by the opportunities for this partnership.”
RBGE Regius Keeper & Queen’s Botanist in Scotland, Professor Stephen Blackmore, says: “I am delighted that RBGE and the RHS are going to be working more closely together in the future and think that there is much that can be achieved through this exciting and important partnership. Both of our organisations know the enormous benefits that gardens and gardening bring both to the personal health of individuals and families and to the economy.
“Whether you choose to measure it in terms of the ecosystem services provided by urban green spaces, the exercise provided by gardens as ‘green gyms’, their role in the tourism and retail economies or the life-changing experiences they offer to youngsters, the value of gardens is growing. Together we can champion and promote that growth,” Stephen says.
As part of the partnership, the two organisations will be offering added value to their members. RHS and RBGE members will both receive a 20% discount when joining the other organisation.
Notes to editors
For more information, images and events in your area, contact Ed Horne 020 7821 3356 firstname.lastname@example.org in the RHS Press Office.
Founded in 1670, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is renowned for its work in plant research, conservation, horticulture and education. In this changing world, the RBGE is committed to tackling crucial global issues including plant extinction and climate change. Unique in Scotland, RBGE – as a research organisation – has the opportunity to engage with the public, enhance people’s understanding of the role of plants in the world and enable them to shape a more sustainable future.
As well as being a renowned scientific institution, the RBGE is one of Scotland’s leading visitor attractions with almost 800,000 visits to its four Gardens per annum. Its mission is “Exploring and explaining the world of plants for a better future”.
The four RBGE Gardens are: RBGE Edinburgh in the centre of the Scottish capital; Dawyck Botanic Garden in the Scottish Borders; Logan Botanic Garden in Dumfries & Galloway and Benmore Botanic Garden in Argyll.
Friends of RBGE help to support the organisation’s crucial work in plant conservation. Become a Friend by calling 0131 552 5339 or join online at www.rbge.org.uk/supportus
RBGE is a charity registered in Scotland (SC007983)
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 www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262