Thousands of communities to create 'Edible Britain'

Wednesday 9 January 2013

RHS Britain in Bloom 2013 Launch (8–14 April)











Streets across the UK will be lined with herbs and vegetables for local people to harvest for years to come, as a result of the launch activity for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom 2013 programme. ‘Edible Britain’ will result in community gardening groups creating 2,000 herb and vegetable patches in public spaces around Britain from 8 to 14 April.

RHS community gardening groups, of which there are more than 3,000, can apply for free Mr Fothergills edible-plant seed packets, provided by the RHS. Some 30,000 packets of seed, including chives, dill, parsley, carrots, coriander, spring onions and red frills mustard, as well as edible flowers such as nasturtiums and marigolds, will be distributed to 2,000 gardening groups.

Stephanie Eynon, RHS Community Horticulture Manager, said: “Britain in Bloom isn’t just about pretty hanging baskets brightening up gloomy streets, it’s about improving the environment, enhancing lives and bringing communities together through gardening. Thanks to ‘Edible Britain’, new public herb and vegetable gardens will be planted across the UK, bringing access to tasty produce to thousands.”

More than 200,000 people devote almost 4.4 million hours each year to enhancing their community, saving the country millions of pounds through RHS Britain in Bloom. On average, groups plant 115,000 trees, 352,000 shrubs and 21.6 million plants and bulbs throughout Britain each year. 
The social impacts of participating in Britain in Bloom are as significant as the environmental and visual benefits. An RHS survey* found that 90% of groups claim that the biggest benefit of participating in the campaign is community development, and more than 50% of groups have seen a clear decline in crime and antisocial behavior.

Britain in Bloom promotes a healthy lifestyle across all generations. ‘Edible Britain’ will engage children in growing fresh produce, which is a well-established way to increase interest in healthy eating because it encourages a more knowledgeable relationship with their food. Community growing also allows older people, who form approximately a third of all Britain in Bloom volunteers, to stay active, feel less isolated and gain a greater sense of purpose.

Britain in Bloom was set up in 1964 as a tourist initiative but since the RHS took over in 2002 has grown into one of Europe’s largest community gardening and environmental campaigns involving villages, towns, cities, urban communities and neighbourhood groups across the country. It is also the UK's biggest voluntary campaign.

Anybody can set up or join their nearest group by typing in their postcode into an online map found  

Hot on the heels of ‘Edible Britain’ is the UK’s second National Gardening Week (15-21 April). To celebrate the week and continue its charitable work to get people gardening and growing a diversity of plants, the RHS will give away 10,000 packets of wildflower seeds for people to create mini wildflower meadows across Britain  


**Britain in Bloom: Transforming local communities  


Notes to editors

 For more information, please contact Ed Horne, RHS Press Officer, Communities, in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3356 or

About RHS Britain in Bloom
RHS Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest community gardening campaign, involving more than 200,000 people. 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:  

Get Involved Map
The online map enables volunteers to find and contact their local community gardening groups and schools registered with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. There are thousands of opportunities to get involved with community gardening groups and schools around the UK. To search through more than 1,000 “in Bloom” groups, 1,100 It's Your Neighbourhood groups, 16,000 schools and 1,235 affiliated clubs and societies, visit:  

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.

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