YPHA holds first in-person meeting celebrating the value of connection in horticulture

The Young People in Horticulture Association has met at RHS Wisley, with 70 of its 200 members coming out of lockdown to meet face-to-face to talk about opportunities in the industry.

YPHA credit Ginger Horticulture

Young People in Horticulture Association set up in 2020 to address the lack of younger horticulturists in the UK. Their planned meetings have been put off by the pandemic but now they are up and running. Among their senior members are entrepreneurs who represent the future of gardening, from selling online and by subscription, using Instagram for inspiration and marketing and using new materials and methods to grow.

More than 70 horticulturists under 35 took a private tour of RHS Wisley gardens, followed by talks from Matthew Pottage, Dr Suzanne Moss and Michael Perry, with fourth ambassador Jane Lawler announced at the event, adding to Perry, Pippa Greenwood and Boyd Douglas-Davies. RHS director general Sue Biggs welcomed the delegates, telling them they are "going to be the saviours" of horticulture.

After setting up YPHA in January 2020, the opportunity for in-person events has been limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, the group has still maintained traction and has recently hit 200 members, with monthly webinars and ongoing conversation via Whatsapp and Facebook support groups. The group aims to host a full calendar of in-person events.

Leading members include Natalie Porter - Porters Fuchsias and YPHA co-founder, Mollie Higginson - New Leaf Plants and YPHA co-founder, Liam Cleary - Old Railway Line Garden Centre.

Finding Roots' Lilidh Matthews is now YPHA treasurer. She has been awarded the Young Innovators Award 2021/22 by Innovate UK, KTN and The Prince's Trust. Among others at the event were Rose Press Garden's Lizzie Fox, Chris Wiley, founder of Sow Successful, Adam Couzens of Lowaters, Abigail Stocker of Woodlodge and Sarah Want (MorePeople).

See www.ypha.org.uk

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