Nationwide competition celebrates first joint RHS/Scholastic UK titles for young readers
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Scholastic UK, a division of the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, are set to grow a new generation of readers.
Scholastic UK has launched a programme of entertaining, informative and beautifully illustrated activity books for children aged 7-12, encouraging readers to explore and enjoy nature outdoors. Inspired by the much-loved RHS gardens, this wonderful range of illustrated books is a marvellous introduction to the wonders of wildlife and the joys of gardening.
The first three titles launched in the spring. They include The Outdoor Adventure Handbook, which will look at discovering plants and wildlife and getting closer to nature, with activities for all weathers. Further books will follow in autumn 2021 and beyond.
To celebrate the launch of the first RHS/Scholastic titles for children, Scholastic UK has also launched a nationwide gardening competition. The competition, which started in June and runs for four months, has a very special and delightful theme: Scholastic is encouraging children to create their very own unique garden design.
All sizes of garden are eligible, ranging from a miniature garden in a tray or a garden pot to a space in a back garden, community garden or allotment.
The competition runs until 30 September 2021 and is open to all children aged 7 to 12. The judges will include gardeners from the RHS.
The first prize includes a VIP guided tour of RHS Garden Wisley, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science. RHS Hilltop is the UK’s first dedicated centre of excellence for horticultural research, which helps to protect the future of plants, people and the planet. The prize winner will also receive a full set of RHS/ Scholastic publishing and a selection of RHS licensed products to encourage his or her future gardening efforts
With restrictions on travel and lifestyle in 2020, many parents have been spending more time outside with their children in gardens and parks. Time spent gardening went up 149% – and 60% of people with an outdoor space felt that having a garden or outdoor space helped their physical health during lockdown.
Nature has a number of mental, physical and social benefits, all of which are particularly important for the healthy development of children. Time spent with nature can help build these foundations and enable children to develop skills for life through free play, building confidence, creativity and resilience. Developing a healthy mind is particularly important – and interacting with nature and wildlife is a great way of clearing any bad thoughts and helping children to see more clearly.
Cathy Snow, Licensing Manager, RHS, says, “To celebrate the delightful RHS collection of activity books for 7-12-year-olds created and published by Scholastic, the RHS is extremely excited to be involved with the judging of this competition and to provide a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of RHS Garden Wisley as part of the prize. We hope as many young people as possible will take on this design challenge and think creatively about designing a garden to suit their space at home – no matter the size of the space they have or whether it is indoors or outside. ”
Matthew Pottage, Curator, RHS Garden Wisley, says, “My passion for gardening and growing plants started at an early age in my parents’ garden and developed into an amazing horticultural career with the RHS. I’d love this competition to inspire young people to get involved and share in my love of gardening. I’d encourage them to enter the competition – no matter what their ability or space – to be creative and to marvel at the wonder of the natural world around them.”
Elizabeth Scoggins, Publisher Non-Fiction, Brands and Licensing, Scholastic UK, says, “Gardens and gardening have been more important than ever to our wellbeing in recent months and few gardens are as well-loved as the five RHS gardens that are among this country’s greatest horticultural achievements. They have been an ideal inspiration both for our new range of books and for this competition, which will, we believe, attract and delight children all over the UK.”
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