Green Plan It
8th Feb 2017
RHS Ambassador, Jamie Butterworth, recently met with secondary school pupils from across the North West to help select the regional winners of the Green Plan It Challenge.
Jamie, whose role with the RHS is to inspire young people to consider careers in the horticultural sector, was one of a panel of judges that gave feedback on the pupils’ innovative designs for a school or community garden, at an event held at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester on 22 November.
He was joined by local horticultural industry experts, many of whom have been involved in mentoring the teams of 12 to 14 year olds who took part in the ten-week design challenge.
The teams competed to win prizes for their projects and were rewarded for innovation and team work.
Winning the Best Overall Project was St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre for Learning from Whiston in Merseyside, who came up with a design for a memorial garden dedicated to an inspirational head teacher who loved gardening and would have been very proud of the design which was a space where students could relax, socialise and read. The team won £100 worth of HTA gardening gift vouchers and have already applied for funding and have scheduled a garden opening ceremony for March 2017.
Other regional winners included:
- Burnage Academy for Boys, Team ‘Bee boys’ - Most Innovative Design
- The Derby High School, Science and Arts College, Team ‘Derby Goes Green’ - Best Teamwork
- Tytherington School, Team ‘Badgers inc.’ – Pupils’ Choice award
Josh Wood Spiers a pupil in the winning Green Plan It team said: “I have enjoyed being part of the Green Plan It challenge especially designing, talking over ideas and making the model to scale using 1:20 scale.
“I have learnt how to plant seeds, flowering times, soil types, whether a plant is evergreen and I have taken loads of photographs. I found it interesting learning about plants that are drought resistant and how they retain water.
“I can’t choose my favourite part of gardening - I love everything. It’s totally relaxing and I love working as a team with my friends that I have made through gardening.”
Jamie Butterworth said: “It was fantastic to meet with the pupils and see the amazing designs they’ve come up with. I hope the experience has given them a real insight into what it’s like to work in the horticultural sector and inspires those who may not have previously considered a career in horticulture to think-twice about their options.”
RHS Head of Community Outreach, Andrea Van-Sittart said: “The pupils have worked with expert industry mentors to develop some incredible designs. I’m sure they’ve got a lot out of the project and found meeting Jamie and the other horticultural role models hugely inspirational.
“That leading industry figures and mentors have given up their time to invest in the next generation speaks volumes about their commitment to ensuring that young people learn more about the diverse and rewarding horticultural sector.”
The RHS project supported young people to develop a range of new skills, including teamwork, design and planning, as well as introducing them to the wide range of career options that exist within horticulture.