With the 2003 RHS Chelsea Flower Show well underway, Japanese car company Daihatsu has today (Thursday 22 May) launched a national competition for schools with pupils aged 11 to 16 to design a biodiversity garden to be built at the 2004 show.
To be called ‘The Daihatsu Green Garden’, the winning design will be one that provides the most innovative and effective solutions to the question of how wildlife can be encouraged, supported and observed in a typical domestic garden.
As well as having its design turned into a 10m x 10m show garden at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show next year, the winning school will receive a £6,000 grant from Daihatsu towards creating a biodiversity area of its own.
To enter, schools must first apply for a competition pack from Daihatsu before 20 June, 2003 (see notes to editors). The overall winner will be selected in February 2004 from 11 regional finalists.
The theme of designing an eco-friendly garden supports Daihatsu’s position as a manufacturer of ‘greener’ compact city cars.
Daihatsu’s Marketing Director, Paul Tunnicliffe, said: "As well as providing a chance of a lifetime to design a Chelsea show garden, this competition is a fantastic opportunity for schools to learn more about the important role domestic gardens play in supporting Britain’s biodiversity and the chance to create an eco-garden of their very own."
Bob Sweet, RHS Head of Shows Development said: "This is the first time that a biodiversity garden based on a design by schoolchildren will be built at the Chelsea Flower Show. We are very pleased to be working with Daihatsu to engage young people in the potential of gardening for wildlife. Biodiversity and wildlife issues have been strong themes in this year’s show gardens, and it will be interesting to see how schools approach the competition."
More than 1750 schools have now joined the RHS Schools Membership scheme – a free service providing inspiration, advice and support for teachers using plants and garden to help deliver the National Curriculum.
The Daihatsu Green Garden competition will be one of two competitions being supported by the RHS Education Department to mark the society’s bicentenary year in 2004. A separate competition for younger children (Key Stages 1 and 2) is to be launched by the RHS Education Department later this summer.