RHS launches Planet-Friendly Gardening Campaign to fight climate change

The Planet-Friendly Gardening Campaign aims to harness the power of 30 million British gardeners to fight climate change

garden gravel ideas in the grass garden at RHS Wisley
(Image credit: Joanna Kossak/RHS)

The RHS has launched its Planet-Friendly Gardening Campaign in Parliament as part of the organisation's brand-new Sustainability Strategy. Recognising the need to act now to respond to the climate and biodiversity crisis, the campaign aims to enlist as many as 30 million UK gardeners in a civil mobilisation campaign of a size not see since the WWII-era Dig for Britain. 

From teaching people how to create an eco-friendly garden to changing consumer habits, the ambitious campaign has sweeping goals.

Garden fork and gloves on lawn

(Image credit: Jill Ferry/ Getty)

RHS scientific research shows that individual gardeners' actions can have far-reaching consequences. If every one of the UK’s 30 million gardeners planted a medium-sized tree and nurtured it to maturity, they would store the carbon equivalent of driving 11 million times around the planet. And if each person made an average of 190kg of compost a year, this would save the carbon equivalent to heating 506,000 average sized houses for a year. 

Humble tasks like learning composting and garden water saving can make a significant contribution to the UK's climate goals. 

composting vegetables

(Image credit: Francesco Vaninetti Photo/Moment/Getty Images)

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, commented: 'The RHS is committed to using its own community outreach work to help Britain’s 30 million gardeners make a positive contribution towards the climate and biodiversity crisis. But we can’t harness this potential alone. If we are to mobilise the biggest gardening army across the nation since Dig for Victory we need government support for Planet-Friendly Gardens. This includes funding for research and development in horticultural science as well as financially supporting community gardens in schools, NHS Trusts and public spaces.'

The RHS also recognises that it's important to empower individuals to make better gardening choices to create more sustainable gardens. A Planet-Friendly sustainability calculator will be launched as part of the campaign in order to help gardeners make decisions that impact their carbon footprint. The online tool is the result of five years of research into the carbon and water dynamics of the domestic garden.

RHS Director of Science and Collections, Professor Alistair Griffiths, added: 'Collectively, the actions of each and every one of our nation’s 30 million gardeners can create positive change and help us adapt to and mitigate against the climate crisis and help to reverse the biodiversity crisis.' 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.