RHS and NGS join forces to support trainees

Thursday 3 April 2014

Gardening charities to train new generation of horticulturists.

The country’s leading gardening charities, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), have joined forces to create a programme to fund the training of 12 horticultural trainees over the next three years.

The newly created NGS Traineeship programme will identify four trainees a year to take part in the prestigious RHS horticultural training programme. Each trainee will work at one of the four RHS gardens – Wisley, Surrey; Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire; Hyde Hall, Essex and Rosemoor, Devon – for the duration of the 12-month course.

During the programme the trainees will gain a broad range of practical skills as they experience a variety of horticultural disciplines, including how to cultivate ornamental plants, how to work within glasshouses and how to adapt to the specific challenges of fruit and rock gardening.

Unlike other RHS trainees, the four NGS trainees will be able to experience the challenges and thrills private gardeners face as they prepare to open their gardens to the public as part of the NGS Open Gardens programme. For two weeks in May the trainees will work with private gardeners to gain valuable insights into their preparations ahead of National Gardens Weekend in June.

Trainees who successfully complete the programme will be equipped with the skills and experience, gained from working with RHS Curators and their horticultural teams across the four RHS Gardens, to build careers in horticulture.

Speaking about the RHS/NGS partnership, RHS Executive Vice President Jim Gardiner said “I am thrilled that the RHS and NGS have come together to offer this wonderful opportunity to budding horticulturists.

“The creation of these NGS Traineeships is yet another example of horticultural organisations coming together to provide more people will the skills they will need to thrive in what I consider to be the most enjoyable and stimulating profession in the world. The partnership also underscores our commitment, expressed in the Horticulture Matters report, to help more people forge careers in horticulture.

“The RHS already enjoys a hugely positive relationship with the NGS, but the creation of the traineeships really reinforces our joint aim to ensure that everyone has access to the wonders of gardens, gardening and horticulture.”

Of the new partnership Penny Snell, National Gardens Scheme Chairman said: “We see this initiative as the basis for an exciting new partnership between the RHS and NGS and emphasises our commitment to training young gardeners for a career in horticulture"

RHS Ambassador Alan Titchmarsh, who has tirelessly championed support for young gardeners said: “The announcement of this new partnership between our two great gardening charities is wonderful news for aspiring gardeners and can only help raise the profile of gardening as a career.”

As with all RHS trainees, to be considered for the programme the NGS trainees will need to hold a Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture or similar and have at least six months of practical horticultural experience in a professional environment.

The first four NGS trainees will begin their training in September 2014.


Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Garfield Myrie in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3060 or email garfieldmyrie@rhs.org.uk

For more information about the NGS please contact Chris Morley, Marketing Manager
01483 213900 or email cmorley@ngs.org.uk, or Rosalind Ellis, Communications Manager on 01483 213904 or email rellis@ngs.org.uk

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, 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.

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 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/join
The RHS Lindley Library houses and cares for the finest collection of horticultural literature in the world, including a comprehensive collection of 19thc books on the ‘Language of Flowers’. Researchers can consult these books by appointment. For more information call: 0207 8213050 or visit http://www.rhs.org.uk/About-Us/RHS-Lindley-Library.

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

About the NGS
Founded in 1927, The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) has donated more than £22 million to charity in the last ten years.

The NGS will give £2.5 million in 2014 to the nursing and other caring charities from money raised by opening more than 3,800 private gardens in England and Wales.

The 2014 edition of the famous The Yellow Book, listing opening details of more than 3,800 gardens across England and Wales, is available to purchase from bookstores and garden centres or it can be ordered direct from the NGS www.ngs.org.uk for £9.99 which includes all post and packaging charges.

Charities supported by the National Gardens Scheme include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices, Carers Trust, Perennial, Parkinson’s UK, The National Trust, the Garden Museum and the Royal Horticultural Society.

In total the NGS has donated more than £14.75 million to Macmillan Cancer Support

In total the NGS has donated more than £6.8 million to Marie Curie Cancer Care

National Gardens Weekend is 7th – 8th June 2014
NGS Registered Charity No.1112664

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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