Horticulture is 'force for change'

Politicians and industry leaders are to insist horticulture has become a powerful force for economic and social change as part of a quarter-of-a-century celebration.

The 25th anniversary conference and annual general meeting of the Institute of Horticulture (IoH) will include tours, seminars and workshops as well as debates. Former Conservative deputy leader and owner of Haymarket Lord Heseltine and ex-MP Marion Rowe will talk "politics with a big P", said IoH education committee chairman Steve Dowbiggin.

He added: "We have picked up on the concept of how horticulture is a force for change economically, culturally and socially. It is the very essence of how we live.

"We have chosen 'statement people' as speakers, people who can put together concepts and communicate strategy rather than reel off endless details."

Lord Taylor of Holbeach, keynote speaker at the event at Askham Bryan College in York, will focus on how the horticulture profession is expanding.

HTA chief executive David Gwyther will look at the politics of horticulture and the wider industry at the conference, which will take place on 18-19 September.

John Watkins of English Heritage and Olivia Morris of the National Trust will focus on green tourism, while RHS director of science and learning Simon Thornton-Wood will look at schools and NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond will tackle food security.

The two-day gathering, sponsored by HW, the HTA and the Finnis Scott Foundation, will be punctuated by a visit to Middlethorpe Hall and tour of Askham Bryan College. Local attractions such as Roman baths and York Minster will also form part of the tour itinerary, and the celebration will be marked with an anniversary dinner.

- Email ioh@horticulture.org.uk or phone 01992 707025.

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