RHS creates new environmental horticulture team

Thursday 31 January 2019

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has recruited a new environmental horticulture team, bolstering its climate change related research.


The three appointments to the charity’s 60-strong Science team based at RHS Garden Wisley builds on its Gardening in a Changing Climate report which showed how gardeners can adapt to changes in the environment through plant choice and garden design.

The team will research and advise on sustainable resource management, soil health and ecosystem services, including how the UK’s 27 million gardeners can contend with weather extremes, air and noise pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Findings and advice will be shared with industry and the public.

The three new appointments are:

  • Mark Gush, Head of Environmental Horticulture: Mark joins the RHS after 21 years at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa where he led a team of hydrologists, hydrogeologists and agricultural water use specialists. At Wisley, he will work with the team to help the public garden more sustainably and tackle specific environmental challenges.
  • Janet Manning, Water Management Specialist: Cranfield University graduate with a career covering the horticulture and water industries. Janet will look at changing gardener’s behaviour to make better use of water resources and ensure growing success. The position forms part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Cranfield University, funded by the RHS and Innovate UK.
  • Marc Redmile-Gordon, Senior Scientist for Soil and Climate Change: Marc joins the RHS as a FACTS qualified farm advisor with 10 years’ experience in agricultural science at Rothamsted Research. With a focus on soil biology, Marc seeks to develop new practices that will enable gardeners to lessen the impacts of climate change, and garden in a way which reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Alistair Griffiths, Director of Science, Collections and Libraries at the RHS, said: “Global warming and a growing awareness of how green spaces can positively impact on communities stand to make gardens an ever more important resource. I’m delighted to have been able to grow our environmental horticulture team whose work will focus on sharing knowledge and advice to maximise the benefits.”

Based in the historic Laboratory building at RHS Garden Wisley, the Science team will move to the UK’s first National Centre for Horticultural Science & Learning being built in the garden in 2020. The new building will include environmental horticulture laboratories to facilitate the work of the team. The charity is currently fundraising for the build. Help us to protect the future of plants, people and the planet: www.rhs.org.uk


Notes to editors

For more information please contact Laura Scruby in the RHS press office: laurascruby@rhs.org.uk / 0207 821 3060

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. This aspiration underpins all that we do, from inspirational gardens and shows, through our scientific research, to our education and community programmes such as Campaign for School Gardening and Britain in Bloom. We produce key publications, hold a world-class collection of horticultural books and botanical art, and sell the very best plants and gardening gifts.

The RHS is fundraising £40m to transform our gardens, outreach and education facilities, which includes redeveloping our flagship RHS Garden Wisley and opening a new garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater, in 2020. We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk.

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

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