RHS Director General Recognised in New Year’s Honours 2017

Tuesday 3 January 2017

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is delighted that its Director General, Sue Biggs, has been appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours 2017.

The New Year Honours list for 2017 recognises the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom. Sue has been appointed CBE in recognition for services to the environment and horticulture.

Sue has been Director General of the RHS since 2010, previously she worked in the travel industry heading up Kuoni for 25 years.

Since her appointment 6 years ago, Biggs has transformed the 212 year old gardening charity: increasing the reach of its community gardening campaigns to enrich lives and make the UK more beautiful, growing its membership to 467,000 inspiring more people to garden, and embarking on a £160 million investment programme into the future of horticulture.

The £160 million investment* will help to create a more sustainable and better society now and for generations to come: a major new RHS fifth garden will be created in Salford, urban gardens will be grown for cities, gardening science will better equip us to deal with pests and diseases and the RHS will support community gardening in an even more direct and meaningful way.

Sue Biggs also chairs the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group, a cross-industry action group which works collaboratively to raise the profile of horticulture to Government and meets regularly with Defra Ministers.

Sue Biggs says, “I’m extremely proud to receive a CBE and see this also as recognition of the impact that gardening and horticulture can have to make the UK a happier, healthier and better place to live. I feel very fortunate to work in an organisation with such remarkable people promoting something I feel so passionate about, and this award belongs as much to them as me.”

*The complete 7 RHS £160 million investment projects are:

RHS Garden Wisley:
• New science and learning centre
• New visitor building and experience
• Building a vibrant Wisley Village

RHS Garden Bridgewater: Opening our fifth garden
RHS Garden Harlow Carr: New horticultural content
RHS Garden Hyde Hall: Learning centre and new horticultural experience
RHS Lindley Library: Sharing our collections and improving the customer experience
Community Outreach and Urban Gardens: Expanding our reach and impact and bringing gardening to city communities
Horticulture Matters: Raising the profile of careers in horticulture


Notes to editors

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 www.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