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leadership at Cambridge 


Carole Salmon with children presented with a plaque, certificate and two apple trees


“Forty per cent of children who leave primary school have no idea where even the most basic fruit and vegetables come from; what’s grown in the UK and what is imported,” says Clarke. “Gardening gives children an understanding of,


and a connection with, the natural environment and the cycles of nature. Growing things also gives them an insight into managing resources, especially water, much more thoughtfully and efficiently.”


The benefits of school gardening range from improved behaviour to healthier eating habits, but the RHS had a more specific aim. "The charity was worried about the loss of gardening skills," says Claire Custance, RHS strategic development manager, "and we wanted to ensure these were transferred to the younger generation. What's more, most young people don't see gardening as a career to be proud of."


The campaign offers gardening resources and teaching plans, which are free to access and show schools how a garden can be used as a teaching tool across all subjects. There is also an emphasis on skills, from experienced regional advisers running staff training sessions, to schools getting parents up to speed with growing events.


 Learning, says of the move to add gardening to the National Curriculum: "We've been campaigning for this for nearly ten years so we are thrilled the Government has recognised there is a need for children to be taught gardening at school.


"We now need to help teachers and school staff get the support they need to teach horticulture to children. More than 16,300 schools are signed up to our Campaign for School Gardening, which gives teachers access to really useful


Do you know a potential young gardener of the year?


Teachers from schools across the South West can now nominate pupils for the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2013, a quest to find the most knowledgeable, enthusiastic and talented gardening pupil in the UK.


The competition is open to all schools on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening scheme, of which there are nearly 16,500, and aimed at children up to the age of sixteen.


Last year, eleven-year-old Lucas Hatch won the title by impressing judges with his flair, enthusiasm and knowledge of gardening. As part of his prize, Lucas spent the day with RHS Wisley Curator, Colin Crosbie and was presented with a certificate and personalised trowel bearing his name. His school, St. Mary’s Primary School in Suffolk, received £500 worth of gardening vouchers and his family won tickets to RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013.


Teachers and other adults associated with the school can nominate a pupil by visiting www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening by 18th


May. The winner of RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2013 will be announced on 12th Country Gardener


July. 17


resources such as lesson plans and tips for planning and setting up a school garden."


Findings of a report released last year were integral in the decision to add gardening to the curriculum. A 25-member panel of experts, including the RHS, brought together evidence to show the benefits of giving children the chance to grow their own food.


Left: The RHS campaign puts emphasis on long term gardening skills


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