Garden celebs and 150 garden centres back anti-skin cancer campaign

Charlie Dimmock, Alan Titchmarsh, Andy Sturgeon, David Stevens, Toby Buckland, Anne Swithinbank, Joe Swift, Squire's Dobbies, Blue Diamond and Hillier are among those supporting 'Watch Your Back!' a melanoma awareness campaign for gardeners devised by the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund.

The campaign is partnered by the Garden Centre Association, the Professional Gardeners Guild and The National Allotment Society and supported by more than 160 garden centres across the UK.

Skin cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK and melanoma is the most dangerous type.  It is the fastest growing cancer in men and the second fastest in women, with men 70% more likely to develop the disease, typically on their backs and in areas that are hard to spot, making the warning signs easier to miss, leading to a later diagnosis, leading to higher death rates.

Melanoma rates in the UK have more than quadrupled over the last 30 years, however many of us, especially men, still don’t understand the need, or have the motivation to use sun protection regularly or check skin for signs of change or know what to look out for. This attitude is leading to later diagnosis and may explain why more people in the UK die from melanoma than in Australia or New Zealand, both of which have the highest incidence in the world.

To help impact this, the Watch Your Back! campaign aims to raise awareness by promoting the following simple advice:

PROTECT: Wear SP30 sunscreen, sleeves, a hat and seek shade between 11am and 3pm

DETECT: Regularly check skin for changes and know what to look out for

PREVENT: Melanoma and other skin cancers but enjoy your time outside

Garden centres will be running targeted in-store campaigns using eye-catching branding featuring advisory slogans on WC mirrors, under sun parasols, around BBQ’s, on sun beds, in cafes and at till points. 

Sun loving plants will be tagged with messages such as: "I may thrive in full sun, but your skin doesn’t!" The campaign aims to encourage gardeners to get busy outside, but to avoid sunburn and get to know their skin. 

Titchmarsh said: "This campaign makes huge sense and reminds gardeners that their own health is every bit as important as that of their plants." 

Swift said: "Too many of us are unaware of the true dangers of over-exposure to the sun, and how sunburn can lead to melanoma and other skin cancers." 

The Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund has teamed up with the MASCU (Melanoma and Skin Cancer Unit) at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead who will help the charity run free skin check clinics and skin health days in selected garden centres from May which can be pre-booked on the charity’s website.  

The MASCU has also helped produced a wide range of sun protection tips, a guide to skin checking and lots more information on how to keep skin healthy, all designed especially for all gardeners.  Please visit for further details from 1 May.

Watch Your Back! Participating Garden Centres

  1. All In One Garden Centre Ltd, Greater Manchester
  2. Altons Garden Centre, Essex
  3. Aylett Nurseries, St Albans
  4. Barton Grange Garden Centre, Lancashire
  5. Baytree Nurseries & Garden Centre, Lincolnshire
  6. Bents Garden & Home, Warrington
  7. Burston Rose & Garden Centre, Hertfordshire
  8. Brimsmore Gardens Yeovil
  9. Bernaville Nurseries, Exeter
  10. Blue Diamond 3 Shires Garden Centre, Gloucestershire
  11. Blue Diamond  - Bambridge Park Garden Centre, Hampshire
  12. Blue Diamond - Chatsworth Garden centre, Derbyshire
  13. Blue Diamond - Coton Orchard Garden Centre, Cambridge
  14. Blue Diamond - Matlock Garden Centre, Derbyshire,
  15. Blue Diamond - Redfields Garden & Living Centre, Hampshire
  16. Blue Diamond - Evesham Garden Centre, Worcestershire
  17. Blue Diamond - Fermoys Garden Centre, Devon
  18. Blue Diamond - Garden & Home Derby, Derbyshire
  19. Blue Diamond - St Peters Garden Centre, Jersey
  20. Blue Diamond - Fryers Garden Centre, Cheshire
  21. Blue Diamond - Wilton house Garden Centre, Wiltshire, SP2 0BJ
  22. Blue Diamond - Newbridge Nurseries, West Sussex
  23. Blue Diamond - Trentham Home & Garden, Staffordshire
  24. Blue Diamond - Trelawney Garden Centre , Cornwall
  25. Castle Gardens, Dorset
  26. Canterbury Garden Centre, Canterbury
  27. Creative Gardens Bushmills, Co Antrim
  28. Creative Gardens Donaghadee
  29. Creative Gardens Galborm Castle, Ballymena
  30. Coletta & Tyson, East Yorkshire
  31. Dobbies Aberdeen
  32. Dobbies Ashford
  33. Dobbies Atherstone
  34. Dobbies Ayr
  35. Dobbies Birtley
  36. Dobbies Braehead
  37. Dobbies Carlisle
  38. Dobbies Chesterfield
  39. Dobbies Cirencester
  40. Dobbies Clyde Valley
  41. Dobbies Cumbernauld (Westerwood)
  42. Dobbies Dalgety Bay
  43. Dobbies Dundee
  44. Dobbies Dunfermline
  45. Dobbies Edinburgh
  46. Dobbies Gailey
  47. Dobbies Gillingham
  48. Dobbies Reading (Grovelands)
  49. Dobbies Inverness
  50. Dobbies King's Lynn
  51. Dobbies Kinross
  52. Dobbies Lisburn
  53. Dobbies Liverpool
  54. Dobbies Livingston
  55. Dobbies Milngavie
  56. Dobbies Milton Keynes
  57. Dobbies Perth
  58. Dobbies Peterborough
  59. Dobbies Ponteland
  60. Dobbies Preston
  61. Dobbies Shepton Mallet
  62. Dobbies Shrewsbury
  63. Dobbies Southport
  64. Dobbies Stirling
  65. Fairways Garden Centre Ashbourne
  66. Fairways Garden Centre, Macclesfield
  67. Ferndale Nursery & Garden, Derbyshire
  68. Forest Lodge Garden Centre, Farnham
  69. Folkstone Garden Centre, Folkestone
  70. Fron Goch Garden Centre, Gwynedd
  71. Garden Wise Ltd Plant & Garden Centre, Dumfries
  72. Garsons Garden Centre, Esher
  73. Garsons Garden Centre, Titchfield
  74. Glendoick Garden Centre, Perthshire
  75. Gordale Nurseries Ltd, Cheshire
  76. Gouldings Garden Centre, Lanarkshire
  77. Haskins Garden Centre Ferndown, Dorset
  78. Haskins Garden Centre Roundstone, West Sussex
  79. Haskins Garden Centre Snowhill, West Sussex
  80. Haskins Garden Centre West End, Southampton
  81. Hayes Garden World, Ambleside
  82. Hetland Garden Centre, Hampshire
  83. Hillier Garden Centre, Banbury
  84. Hillier Garden Centre Bath
  85. Hillier Garden Centre Botley
  86. Hillier Garden Centre Braishfield
  87. Hillier Garden Centre Chichester
  88. Hillier Garden Centre Eastbourne
  89. Hillier Garden Centre Hemel Hempstead
  90. Hillier Garden Centre Horsham
  91. Hillier Garden Centre Liss
  92. Hillier Garden Centre Newbury
  93. Hillier Garden Centre Sunningdale
  94. Hillier Garden Centre Winchester
  95. Hillview - Hilltop Garden Store, Oxon
  96. Hillview - Studley Green Garden Store, Warwickshire
  97. Hillview - Little Heath Garden Store, Bromsgrove
  98. Hillview - Pavilion Garden Store, Wolverhampton
  99. Hillview - Burford House Garden Store, Worcestershire
  100. Hillview - Shipley Garden Centre, Derbyshire
  101. Hillview - Billing Garden Store, Northants
  102. Hillview  - Charlecote Garden Store, Warwick
  103. Hillview - Newton Regis Garden Store, Staffordshire
  104. Knights Nags Hall, Godstone
  105. Knights Plant & Life, Godstone
  106. Knights Plant Centre, Surrey
  107. Knights Garden Centre Woldingham
  108. Longacres Garden Centre (Bagshot), Surrey
  109. Longacres Garden Centre (Shepperton) Middlesex
  110. Longacres (Bybrook Barn) Kent
  111. Longacres (Chobham) Surrey
  112. Mains Of Drum Centre Ltd, Aberdeenshire
  113. Monkton Elm Garden Centre Ltd, Somerset
  114. The Millbrook Garden Company  - Gravesend, Kent
  115. The Millbrook Garden Company  - Crowborough, Sussex
  116. The Millbrook Garden Company – Tonbridge, Kent
  117. Orchard Park Garden Centre, Dorset
  118. Pennells Garden Centre, Lincolnshire
  119. Pennells Garden Centre, Yorkshire
  120. Perrywood Garden Centre & Nurseries Ltd, Essex
  121. Planters Garden Centre, Staffordshire
  122. Polhill Garden Centre, Surrey
  123. Poundbury Gardens, Dorset
  124. Poplars Nursery Garden Centre Ltd, Bedfordshire
  125. Ruxley Manor Garden Centre, Kent
  126. Rosebourne Garden Centre, Andover
  127. Ransoms Garden Centre, Jersey
  128. Studley Green Garden Store, Buckinghamshire
  129. Scotland Nurseries Garden Centre, Derbyshire
  130. Scotsdale Garden Centre, Cambridgeshire
  131. Scotsdale Garden Centre, Great Shelford
  132. Sunshine Garden Centre, North London
  133. St Peters Garden Centre, Worcestershire
  134. Stewarts Garden Centre Christchurch, Dorset
  135. Stewarts Garden Centre Broomhill, Dorset
  136. Squires Badshot Lea
  137. Squires Chertsey
  138. Squires Cobham
  139. Squires Crawley
  140. Squires Hersham
  141. Squires Long Ditton
  142. Squires Milford
  143. Squires Reigate
  144. Squires Shepperton
  145. Squires Stanmore
  146. Squires Twickenham
  147. Squires Washington
  148. Squires West Horsley
  149. Squires Windsor
  150. Squires Woking
  151. Thirsk Garden Centre, North Yorkshire
  152. Thetford Garden Centre, Norfolk
  153. Tenterden Garden Centre, Tenterden
  154. Thompsons Plant & Garden Centre Chislehurst, Kent
  155. Thompsons Plant & Garden Centre Newchurch, Isle of Wight
  156. Thompsons Plant & Garden Centre Welling, Kent
  157. Webbs of Wychbold, Worcestershire


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What new vegetables will gardeners be growing in 2018?

What new vegetables will gardeners be growing in 2018?

Next year is Fleuroselect year of the chilli pepper and Thompson & Morgan and Mr Fothergill's have ranges around the hot vegetable, with a new way of promoting sales.

Garden centre building: what's going up?

Garden centre building: what's going up?

After a lull in new builds, 2018 could see a slight resurgence in garden centres being erected.

Retail seed: crowded market for 2018

Retail seed: crowded market for 2018

Thompson & Morgan is refocusing on the garden centre seed market, hoping to win back business from Mr Fothergill's, which has expanded during T&M's long sale process.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles