Young and Young-at-Heart Join Forces to Green Grey Britain

Thursday 11 May 2017

Royal Horticultural Society to support cross-generational community gardening projects

Thousands of green-fingered youngsters from schools, Scout groups and youth clubs across the UK will help community gardening groups to breathe new life into dozens of unused or unloved local spaces this summer.

The young people will work alongside Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom and It’s Your Neighbourhood groups to create green havens for the community to enjoy.

Among the projects being supported are a quayside by a wooden warship in Dundee that will be brightened up with wildlife-friendly planting, the reclaiming of a fly-tipping hotspot in London and the development of an urban food forest at a hospital in Halifax.

Up to 300,000 volunteers take part in Britain in Bloom, the UK’s biggest community gardening campaign. The cross-generational projects will give the young gardeners the chance to learn new skills from seasoned gardeners and reap the many health and wellbeing and social benefits of gardening.

The projects are being supported by the RHS as part of this year’s Britain in Bloom campaign which not only recognises gardening excellence but aims to unite communities and promote environmental responsibility.

Under the banner of ‘Greening Grey Britain for Wildlife’, each project will receive around £500 worth of gardening materials, along with hands-on support and advice from RHS experts on which plants to grow, garden features to include and other tips to attract wildlife.

In order to be selected by the RHS the groups had to show that their projects will bring groups together to work in partnership and benefit both communities and wildlife in the area.

Projects receiving RHS support include:
• A deprived area near Glasgow where Scouts will help build a showpiece biodiversity garden with views over the River Clyde
• The re-development of a neglected historic herbaceous border in a Newcastle park by local primary school children
• An alleyway plagued by anti-social behaviour that links a Staffordshire pottery with the canal towpath to be transformed by primary school pupils into a welcoming place for people and wildlife
• A Yorkshire army regiment working with children of all ages on ‘transportable’ gardens

The ‘Greening Grey Britain for Wildlife’ theme aims to highlight the vital role gardens play in supporting wildlife. Even a small patch of land can provide valuable habitat for creatures to forage, nest and hide and form a ‘wildlife corridor’ to link up other green spaces.

Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach said: “The projects being supported by the RHS will bring people together from all walks of life to garden; strengthening community ties, encouraging the sharing of skills and inspiring a new generation of young gardeners.

“With vast swathes of the UK now paved over or not featuring any plants at all, each mini-green oasis will help create a home or stopping-off point for many native wildlife species.”



Notes to editors

For more information please contact Claire Weaver in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3688 or

RHS Britain in Bloom
• The UK’s biggest community gardening campaign involves up to 300,000 passionate local volunteers who work year-round to keep our neighbourhoods and streets green, clean and thriving.
• Bloom was started by the British Tourist Authority as a way to attract visitors to the UK through floral displays. In 2001, the RHS took over as organiser and has developed the campaign to include greater focus on community participation and environmental responsibility.
• In 2006, the RHS launched a new grass roots level for Bloom – It’s Your Neighbourhood (IYN) – which is aimed at small volunteer groups (such as youth groups, ‘Friends of’ groups, etc.) and has grown to over 1,600 groups.
• Since 1964, Bloom has evolved from what many saw as a rural, hanging basket competition into a major socio-environmental campaign that is improving villages, towns and cities across the UK.

To find out more, visit:, Facebook or Twitter (#ourbloom)

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 more than 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: 020 3176 5820 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