Reader Panel - How do you bring gardening to secondary school pupils?

After Alan Titchmarsh said horticulture needs to be taught to teenagers, we asked industry figures at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show how this can be achieved.

Designer

"Gardening is associated with old industry people. To get gardening into secondary schools you have to get some new blood into the trade.

"Quite a few kids I know would take horticultural education if it was their choice. "You need to make it a proper subject - not compulsory but not like an activity, which wouldn't have the same influence."

Jack Dunckley, owner, Jack Dunckley's Landscape Design

Director

"Certainly, getting into secondary schools is quite key to this.

"We are increasing engagement at RHS Garden Wisley and also at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, and we will get there.

"The Grow initiative is getting a lot of people in the industry talking to each other and that is one good catalyst."

Jim Gardiner, director of horticulture, RHS

Garden writer

"This is where colleges are missing a trick. If you can get people young, you can keep them interested.

"We need to work to get practical days at colleges offered by schools. If young people see the benefits of working outside with plants or animals, they are going to want to stick with it."

Steve Bradley, garden writer/The Sun schools gardening visitor

Garden writer

"Getting gardening into secondary schools is pretty easy. If you have an active club for 11 year olds, take it with them. We're found examples of that happening.

"As a trade we have to get out into primary schools as Alan Murdoch of Fermoy's is doing, Mike Smith at Meadow Croft and Adam Wigglesworth at Aylett."

Peter Seabrook, garden writer/Sun schools gardening visitor.


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