Schools Showcase their Garden Designs in Royal Horticultural Society Competition

Secondary school pupils present school and community garden designs in RHS Green Plan It Challenge

  • Ten-week project aimed at inspiring the next generation of young horticulturists
  • Designs include conservation, rooftop and peace gardens

Some schools taking part in the RHS Green Plan It Challenge (high res images available on request)

Eight hundred secondary school pupils aged 12-14  have competed in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Green Plan It Challenge – submitting their innovative designs for a new school or community garden to a panel of award-winning designers, landscape architects and other horticulturists.


The entries were assessed at eight regional events with four teams at each walking away with an award.


Recurring design themes were the creation of tranquil spaces to help pupils escape the stresses of the classroom, wildlife friendly gardens and features such as green roofs and walls to tackle environmental issues.


Winners included Y Pant School in Rhondda Cynon Taf who created a meadow garden to help conserve a population of endangered butterflies, Blessed John Henry Newman RC College in Oldham who developed a peace garden using the Manchester bee motif and Alperton Community School in Wembley who designed a rooftop garden at an underground station to supply the local community with fresh fruit and vegetables. A number of the schools that took part have already committed to bringing their gardens to life.


Led by students, the ten-week challenge encouraged pupils to consider the benefits of communal green spaces and explore environmental issues while developing leadership, teamwork and creative skills.


Challenge competitors also drew on inspiration from industry mentors and judges including Danny Nagle from Grant Associates, the landscape architects behind the multi-award-winning Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Tamara Bridge, co-designer of the Jo Whiley Scent Garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Lachlan Rae, Young Horticulturist of the Year 2017 and Head Gardener at Auchendolly Estate in Scotland.


Speaking about the challenge, RHS Head of Community Outreach, Andrea Van-Sittart said: “The Green Plan It Challenge is designed to support young people to develop a host of new skills including teamwork, creativity and problem-solving, and, we hope to inspire some future Alan Titchmarshs and Monty Dons.


“All of the entries reveal an understanding of the important role that gardens can play both in terms of providing space to work and reflect and as a home for wildlife and the plants they rely on. We look forward to seeing some of these gardens come to fruition as we set about greening our grey Britain.”