Vitacress and the Royal Horticultural Society Hunt for Young Photographers with a Taste for Herbs

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Runcton based, Vitacress are the UK’s largest grower and supplier of fresh herbs for the UK retail market. Now, in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), they’re on the hunt for the UK’s best young herb photographers.

The RHS Young Herb Photographer of the Year competition – sponsored by Vitacress - is aimed at schools taking part in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, a UK wide initiative that inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. Entry is via the Campaign’s website, and budding photographers will be able to submit their herb pictures online at

Photographers are invited to capture a ‘living’ herb growing in the wild, garden, in a container or in a setting of their choice. The herb may be growing in the UK, abroad or across any season. The closing date for entries is 25th September 2015.

There are two age groups for the competition – 11-17 year olds and an under 11s category. Entrants will compete for the title of RHS Young Herb Photographer of the Year, and the prize of an iPad Air, worth approx. £300, will be awarded to the winner from each age category. The winning photographer’s school in both age groups will also receive £500 of horticultural materials for their gardening clubs. In addition, the runner up in each age category will receive an iPad Mini and £250 of horticultural materials for their school.

The judging panel for the RHS Young Herb Photographer of the Year 2015 will include representatives from Vitacress, Jekka McVicar and Lady Bacon, chair of the RHS Herb Group (Wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon, current RHS president), Alana Tapsell, Schools’ Communications Officer for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and Jason Ingram who was voted photographer of the year 2014 by the Garden Media Guild

Vitacress’ Chris Moncrieff, who has championed the link with the RHS, said “We’re obviously very passionate about fresh produce so to be part of this competition is exciting. We’re really looking forward to seeing the entries. Herbs offer such vibrant colours and shapes, we hope they will offer some fresh and creative opportunities for the young photographers.”

Alana Tapsell, Schools’ Communications Officer for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, commented “We’re delighted to start the hunt for Young Herb Photographer of 2015. We are always so impressed by the quality of images submitted and I just know that this year will be no exception. The RHS Campaign for School Gardening is a great opportunity to encourage children to experience gardening and cultivate a passion for growing. We hope this competition will further enhance their interest. I’m sure the judging panel have a tough job ahead to pick the winners.”

Vitacress is the UK’s largest grower and supplier of fresh herbs for the UK retail market. It is based in West Sussex where it has two nurseries and the herb division, established in the 1960s growing salad crops, which began producing fresh herbs in 1989.

Vitacress supplies over 16 million fresh living potted herbs each year and over 23 million packs of fresh cut and bunched herbs per year.

The company offers a core range of nine different herbs grown in pots and 16 varieties of cut herbs, ranging from popular herbs used in everyday cooking such as coriander, basil, mint and rosemary, through to more specialist herbs such as lemon grass and lime leaves.

The RHS Young Herb Photographer of the Year competition is part of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening which is now inspiring and supporting almost 19,000 schools across the UK with their gardening activities. RHS research has shown that gardening can help children develop by teaching them life skills and improving their wellbeing.


Notes to editors

For further information:

The Vitacress press office at Ceres PR
Louise Everett / Kathryn Race
01189 475956 /

RHS Campaign for School Gardening
Alana Tapsell
01483 212387

About Vitacress
Vitacress, a RAR Group company, is one of Europe's leading growers and packers of watercress, leafy salads, spinach, fresh herbs and tomatoes. It has operations in the UK, Portugal, Spain and Benelux, cultivating 550 hectares of land and 45 hectares of glasshouses. Vitacress has a turnover of 211 million euros (170 million pounds) and employs about 1,550 people.

About RAR Group
The RAR Group, one of Portugal's leading business groups, comprises a portfolio of diversified businesses in the areas of packaging, food, real estate, services and tourism. With a turnover of around one billion euros and more than six thousand employees, it is present in Portugal, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Spain, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

About the RHS Campaign for School Gardening
The RHS actively involves around 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.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, 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. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing over 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262