Blue Peter's Chris Collins to open RHS Harlow Carr learning centre

The RHS is launching its new £3.3m eco-friendly learning centre at Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate tomorrow (29 June).

RHS Harlow Carr learning centre - image: RHS
RHS Harlow Carr learning centre - image: RHS
The learning centre will be officially launched by TV's Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins with a group of local school children.

More than 10,000 Yorkshire children will use the site every year to learn about growing their own food.

Head of site at Harlow Carr Liz Thwaite, curator Elizabeth Balmforth and the building manager Paul Griffiths will attend the launch.

Designed around a gardening education philosophy with sustainability and biodiversity at its core, the Bramall Learning Centre provides learning facilities within a low carbon building. The teaching facilities are complemented by the new Blundell Library which is housed within the centre and offers the North’s premier public-access horticultural book collection. More than 10,000 school children from across the region will benefit from the Bramall Learning Centre’s facilities every year.

In addition to a construction which includes renewable and recycled materials, the two-storey S-shaped building includes features to minimise energy consumption including:

    * sun pipes
    * a ground source heat pump
    * solar panels
    * a wind turbine.

On the exterior, a living roof and Montague Burton Teaching Garden and wildlife pond have been designed to encourage biodiversity.

Liz Thwaite, Head of RHS Garden Harlow Carr said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be launching the Bramall Learning Centre in Harlow Carr's 60th year and its creation is a tremendous achievement for all those involved. It is a pleasure to have Chris Collins joining us to celebrate the building's official opening as he shares our passion for inspiring children to get involved with gardening as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

"The centre provides a purpose-built setting that will enable us to reach more children and adult learners and create a passion and respect for the natural world in which we all live. We encourage children to look at the variety of plants and ask them to think about why we grow them, what we do with them and how they are important for our environment."

In a day of celebrations, the RHS will also host a special evening event to thank key supporters of the charity and the individuals who have been instrumental in bringing the groundbreaking education centre to fruition.


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