Lucas Hatch, RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2012
Teachers across the UK can now nominate for Royal Horticultural Society (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 in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening scheme, of which there are nearly 16,500 and is aimed at children up to the age of 16. The RHS Campaign for School Gardening started in 2007 to support and encourage UK schools to use a garden as a teaching resource and has gone from strength to strength.
Last year, eleven-year-old Lucas Hatch (above) from Suffolk 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.
All last year's category winners have been busy since last year. 6-year-old Toby Owen-Hughes, from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire dazzled teachers with his gardening knowledge in a live Gardeners Question Time at the Campaign regional conference at RHS Harlow Carr. 14-year-old Henry Grubb, a ‘mini David Attenborough' has started his own gardening blog and Alan Monk (Key Stage 4 winner) was interviewed for Growing Communities, an RHS publication.
Sarah Cathcart, Head of Education and Learning at the RHS, said: “Lucas has had a brilliant year and despite being on TV, in the papers and interviewed on radio, success hasn't gone to his head and most of the time he's still outdoors doing what he loves best - gardening and growing plants.
“We launched this competition last year to raise the profile of gardening in schools and to celebrate gardening skills in young people. In part, because our research proves it helps a child's wellbeing and development, but also because there's a wealth of horticultural jobs out there. We had more than a hundred nominations last year and are hoping for even more this year so teachers: get nominating!”
Teachers and other adults associated with the school can nominate a pupil by visiting www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening by May 18. A shortlist of finalists will then be asked to create videos. These will be watched by a panel of judges including broadcaster and The Sun's Gardening Editor, Peter Seabrook, and TV gardener, David Domoney.
The winner of RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2013 will be announced on 12 July, 2013.