RHS Begins Search for the Nations Most Passionate School Gardeners

Tuesday 3 February 2015

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening has launched its annual search for the most talented and inspiring school gardeners in the fourth RHS School Gardeners of the Year competition.

 

 

 

 

 


L: George Hassall, winner of RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2014, with Frances Tophill
R: Pupils from Ysgol Esgob Morgan, winner of RHS School Gardening Team of the Year, with Lee Tustin from Keder Greenhouses, Frances Tophill and teacher Richard Hatwood

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening has launched its annual search for the most talented and inspiring school gardeners in the fourth RHS School Gardeners of the Year competition.

Schools across the UK are invited to nominate their gardening stars for three coveted awards – RHS Young School Gardener of the Year, RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year and RHS School Gardening Team of the Year. Shortlisted nominees will then be required to make a short video demonstrating their love of gardening which will be watched by an experienced judging panel headed up by ITV’s Love Your Garden presenter, Frances Tophill.

This year’s top prize for the winning RHS School Gardening Team of the Year is a fantastic greenhouse worth £2,644, kindly donated by Keder Greenhouses. Additional prizes for all three categories include £500 in gardening vouchers, tools, gardening gloves, tickets to an RHS Flower Show and fantastic opportunities such as the chance to work alongside RHS gardeners for a day or a visit from Frances to help out in their school garden.

In 2014 the search for a young gardening talent between the ages of 5 and 16 was won by George Hassall, nine years old, from Buckton Vale Primary School in Carrbrook, in Tameside, Greater Manchester. George wowed judges with his infectious enthusiasm and impressive knowledge of gardening, and has since been a guest speaker at a horticultural careers conference, and made debut TV and radio appearances on BBC’s The One Show and BBC Radio Manchester.

RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year was introduced last year to find dedicated teachers and school volunteers who are helping to teach young people valuable skills in the garden. The search found an incredible calibre of talent, and the award was given to Noreen Daw, Higher Level Teaching Assistant at Imberhorne School in East Grinstead, West Sussex for her incredible passion and commitment.

RHS School Gardening Team of the Year, also a new award last year, was won by a 39-strong Eco Club from Ysgol Esgob Morgan in St Asaph, Denbighshire for their unwavering teamwork and enthusiasm.

Frances Tophill said: “Last year we saw an incredible range of talented young people and teachers. It’s fantastic to see that all over the UK, young people are able to take their learning outdoors and hone not only horticultural skills, but very valuable life skills.”

Sarah Cathcart, Head of Education & Learning at the RHS said: “This competition is a great way of raising the profile of school gardening and encouraging young people to delve into the world of horticulture – there is a wealth of careers out there suited to a range of skills and backgrounds.”

To enter the competition, schools should head to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website at rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening.

All 20 finalists’ videos from 2014 can be viewed on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s YouTube page at youtube.com/RHSSchoolGardening.

The RHS Young School Gardener 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.
 

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Notes to editors

For more information and images, please contact Alana Tapsell, Schools Communications Officer for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening at alanatapsell@rhs.org.uk or the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3043 or pressoffice@rhs.org.uk.

About the RHS Campaign for School Gardening
The RHS actively involves almost 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. 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 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. 210 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.org.uk.

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.org.uk/join.

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 www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262