Home Gardening news RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2019

RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2019

Last year's winner Ellie Micklewright. Picture; RHS/Mark Waugh
Last year's winner Ellie Micklewright. Picture; RHS/Mark Waugh

£10,000 greenhouse to be won

With a massive skills gap in horticulture, the search to find the next generation of gardeners as the RHS launches nominations for its School Gardeners of the Year 2019 competition.

Now in its eighth year, the contest highlights school gardening, the youngsters and dedicated adults who teach them.

Supported by greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic, the RHS is calling on schools to nominate their gardening superstars across three categories:

  • RHS Young School Gardener of the Year: For pupils aged five-16 who demonstrate a love of gardening, show gardening skills and have made an outstanding contribution to their school or community.
  • RHS School Gardening Team of the Year: Recognises an outstanding gardening team that has made a difference to their school or community.
  • RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year: Celebrates teachers, leaders and volunteers who have inspired a passion for gardening and have used the outdoors bring the curriculum alive.
Last year's category winners from St Gregory's School. Picture; RHS/Luke Macgregor
Last year’s category winners from St Gregory’s School. Picture; RHS/Luke Macgregor

Schools can enter at https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/sgoty19 with applications closing at 5pm on Wednesday, April 24.

Winners announced in June

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to produce a short video in support of their entry. The winners will be announced in June.

Prizes include a Hartley Botanic greenhouse worth £10,000 and Hartley Botanic patio glasshouses, National Garden Gift Vouchers and tickets to RHS Flower Shows.

Winning schools will also receive a visit from competition judge and gardening presenter, Frances Tophill.

The competition forms part of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening which provides free resources and advice to more than 38,000 schools and groups across the UK.

Category winner Matt Willer. Picture; RHS/Jason Bye
Category winner Matt Willer. Picture; RHS/Jason Bye

Alana Cama, RHS skills development manager, said: “The competition highlights what a difference gardening can make to young people’s lives – whether it’s improving their health and mental wellbeing, enriching curriculum learning or opening their eyes to a love of gardening that will stay with them as they grow older.”

Last year’s winners

In 2018, 15-year-old Ellie Micklewright from Shropshire won the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year award after creating a school gardening club from scratch.

Starting with very little equipment or resources, she managed to secure funding for the club and get 40 other students on board.

Last year's winners Fraser White and David Nicol with Frances Tophill, centre. Picture; RHS
Winners in 2017, Fraser White and David Nicol with Frances Tophill, centre. Picture; RHS

St Gregory’s Catholic Science College in London received the team award for their school garden which was once earmarked to extend the school car park.

Matthew Willer, a history teacher from Reepham High School, Norfolk was named RHS School Gardening Champion for his work to launch The Allotment Project on the edge of the school’s playing field.

For more information visit https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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