Elizabeth Banks set to replace Giles Coode-Adams as RHS president

RHS president Giles Coode-Adams will retire next July.

The RHS will elect a new president at its annual general meeting on 1 July 2010 and Elizabeth Banks has been invited by the RHS council to stand for election to the post. Coode-Adams joined the RHS council in 2002 and became treasurer in 2006. 

He was appointed president in December 2008 following the death of Peter Buckley (RHS President 2006-2008), and elected in July 2009. He also serves on the Woody Plant Committee and is chairman of the Gardens Advisory Committee.   

Coode-Adams retired from his financial career in 1999 as managing director of the investment bank Lehman Brothers. He spent six years running the foundation at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and was one of the founders of the Millennium Seed Bank.

He said: "It has been a pleasure to serve the RHS over the past eight years. I had not expected to become president of this remarkable charity, and it has been a very rewarding role, working with wonderful people who do an amazing job to help millions of people benefit from the very best in horticulture. Now that I have notched up my three-score-years-and-ten, I feel it is time to hand over the reins and spend rather more time with my wife in our own garden."  

Elizabeth Banks is a landscape architect who specialised in the restoration of historic landscapes. She set up her own business, Elizabeth Banks Associates, in 1985 which now continues as Robert Myers Associates following her retirement from practice in 2006. She has a long working association with the RHS dating back to the original masterplan for Rosemoor in 1987. She has designed five Chelsea show gardens, four of which were awarded gold medals. She has been a member of the picture committee for the past 25 years and a RHS garden judge since 2005. In 2007 she was elected to council. She is chairman of the the picture advisory committee as well as being a member of the gardens advisory committee and the show gardens sub-committee and council garden adviser for RHS Hyde Hall. 

She is a member of the Arboreta Advisory Committee of the Forestry Commission for Westonbirt and Bedgebury and is chairman of the Queenswood Coronation Fund in Herefordshire. She is mayor of Kington, and a deputy lieutenant for Herefordshire.  Together with her husband, Lawrence, a vice-president and a former treasurer of the RHS, she manages Hergest Croft Gardens, which has one of the major woody plant collections in Britain and extends over more than 70 acres.


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