Wednesday 6 February 2013
Teachers across the UK can now nominate for Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Young School Gardener of the Year 2013, a quest to find the most knowledgeable, enthusiastic and talented gardening pupil in the UK.
Lucas Hatch, RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2012. Photograph by Anna McCarthy
The competition is open to all schools in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening scheme, of which there are nearly 16,500 and is aimed at children up to the age of 16. The RHS Campaign for School Gardening started in 2007 to support and encourage UK schools to use a garden as a teaching resource and has gone from strength to strength.
Last year, eleven-year-old Lucas Hatch (above) from Suffolk won the title by impressing judges with his flair, enthusiasm and knowledge of gardening. As part of his prize, Lucas spent the day with RHS Wisley Curator, Colin Crosbie and was presented with a certificate and personalised trowel bearing his name. His school, St. Mary’s Primary School in Suffolk, received £500 worth of gardening vouchers and his family won tickets to RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013.
All last year’s category winners have been busy since last year. 6-year-old Toby Owen-Hughes, from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire dazzled teachers with his gardening knowledge in a live Gardeners Question Time at the Campaign regional conference at RHS Harlow Carr. 14-year-old Henry Grubb, a ‘mini David Attenborough’ has started his own gardening blog and Alan Monk (Key Stage 4 winner) was interviewed for Growing Communities, an RHS publication.
Sarah Cathcart, Head of Education and Learning at the RHS, said: “Lucas has had a brilliant year and despite being on TV, in the papers and interviewed on radio, success hasn’t gone to his head and most of the time he’s still outdoors doing what he loves best – gardening and growing plants.
“We launched this competition last year to raise the profile of gardening in schools and to celebrate gardening skills in young people. In part, because our research proves it helps a child’s wellbeing and development, but also because there’s a wealth of horticultural jobs out there. We had more than a hundred nominations last year and are hoping for even more this year – so teachers: get nominating!”
Teachers and other adults associated with the school can nominate a pupil by visiting www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening by May 18. A shortlist of finalists will then be asked to create videos. These will be watched by a panel of judges including broadcaster and The Sun’s Gardening Editor, Peter Seabrook, and TV gardener, David Domoney.
The winner of RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2013 will be announced on 12 July, 2013
For more information and please contact Ed Horne on 020 7821 3356, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
About the RHS Campaign for School Gardening
The RHS actively involves more than 16,500 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. www.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, 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 www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262