Picking A Winner
Eleven regional winners will first be selected, from which the overall winning design will be chosen. Judging of the regional finalists will take place in January 2004 with the overall winner to be announced in February 2004.
The judging panel will include expert representatives from the world of garden design.
All schools with pupils aged 11 to 16 – i.e. in Key Stages 3 and 4 of the National Curriculum – are eligible to enter. The final design must be the work of the children and it is hoped that it would be the culmination of cross-curricular work from children of all ages within Key Stages 3 and 4.
Only one entry per school will be allowed, but there will be nothing to prevent schools holding internal competitions to choose their entry.
Entries will take the form of a detailed A3-sized colour drawing, together with support information to explain how the garden works in terms of its eco-friendliness and how it supports biodiversity.
A statement of not more than 250 words, explaining the inspiration for the design and briefly describing its aims, must also accompany each entry.
Winning Ideas and Speciality Species
In picking a winner, the judging panel will be looking for the most innovative and striking ideas, rather than the best drawing.
It will be the task of Jeremy Salt, of Henley Salt Designs – builders of previous RHS medal-winning gardens – to turn the winning design into a show garden.
Schools can choose to design a garden that specialises in supporting a given number of species of animals, birds or insects. Alternatively, a school might have a pressing local wildlife concern on which it could focus, with a view, should it win, to spending the £6,000 grant on tackling this concern.
According to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, over 600 species are at risk. A new MORI survey commissioned by the RHS and supported by Daihatsu suggests that only 16% of gardeners are currently using plants to encourage wildlife.
The RHS is seeking to encourage all gardeners to think constructively about the relationship of their garden to habitats, wildlife and biodiversity. Recent initiatives supported by Daihatsu include:
- The RHS and The Wildlife Trusts exhibit in the Life Long Learning feature at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show
- A new website developed by the RHS and Wildlife Trusts to highlight the importance of biodiversity – www.wildaboutgardens.org
- An RHS commissioned Mori survey carrying out research into gardeners' views on the importance of biodiversity in domestic gardens