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Issue:- 20 June 2013

Local Star Pupil Shortlisted for RHS Award

14-year-old Taylor Liddell, from Ridgeway High School, in Merseyside, has made it through to the next round of judging for Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Young School Gardener of the Year 2013 after being nominated for his enthusiasm, talent and knowledge of horticulture.

Ridgeway High School has been provided with a new digital camcorder, by the RHS and Taylor will now produce a short 5 minute film demonstrating why he should get the Award. Videos will be judged by children's TV star and keen gardener, Dom Wood, Blue Peter gardener, Chris Collins, The Sun's gardening editor, Peter Seabrook and key RHS staff, next month.

Dom, who is currently studying a course at RHS Garden Wisley, said:- "Big congratulations to Taylor for getting this far! It's so encouraging to know there are this many talented young gardeners out there and it's going to be a tough feat judging a winner but I can't wait. RHS Young School Gardener of the Year is really important because it could inspire pupils to pursue a career in horticulture, and as the RHS pointed out in a recent report, there is a huge wealth of jobs out there, from curators to scientists to nurserymen, that will need to be filled in the coming years and I can't think of a more rewarding job than one in horticulture. We'll be announcing the winner at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013 and what better place to celebrate the green-fingered gurus of tomorrow, than at the biggest flower festival on earth."

Teachers from RHS Campaign for School Gardening schools, of which there are over 17,000 across the UK, were asked to nominate pupils by producing a 200 word explanation of why their chosen pupil deserved recognition for their gardening flair.

Senior Science Technician, Mrs Janet Watson, said:- "When gardening club suffered a setback due to staff absence, it was Taylor who requested to complete gardening activities at any opportunity he could such as enrichment days, lunchtimes and after school. This resulted in the reestablishment of a gardening club in school. This is a perfect example of what singles Taylor out from his peers.  Taylor has already looked into courses at a local college and is hoping to follow a career in Horticulture. Combining his accumulation of gardening skills and knowledge; Taylor is at the confident stage of being able to support, organise and teach groups of younger pupils who are less able/ new to the activity. He is able to involve new members to the gardening club in a positive, enthusiastic and welcoming manner- thus sharing his passion and inspiring others."

Last year, 11 year old Lucas Hatch, from Suffolk, won the title by impressing judges with his passion, ability and knowledge. He has enjoyed a whirlwind year with visits to RHS Shows and Gardens, newspaper features, radio interviews and recent recognition at an RHS Awards ceremony that's been dubbed the Oscars of Gardening. To watch Lucas talk about his passion for gardening, online.

All last year's category winners have been busy since last year. Toby Owen-Hughes, aged 6 from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, dazzled teachers with his gardening knowledge on a live Gardeners Question Time and was interviewed by Chris Evans live on BBC Radio 2 during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013. Henry Grubb, a 14 year old 'mini David Attenborough' has started his own gardening blog. Alan Monk (Key Stage 4 winner) aged 16 was interviewed for Growing Communities, an RHS publication.  Schools that successfully nominate finalists will receive up to £500 worth of gardening vouchers and tools to develop outdoor projects. The overall winner will get to spend a day at their nearest RHS Garden, working alongside RHS gardeners and receive family tickets to either RHS Flower Show Tatton Park or RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2014. Runners-up will also get a personal tour of an RHS Garden.

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