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Bishop Douglass wins Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden Design Competition for London

Bishop Douglass Catholic School wins the Royal Horticultural Society’s Green Plan It Challenge to design a new school or community garden, a ten-week project aimed at inspiring the next generation of young horticulturists and backed by industry professionals.

A team-of-six from Bishop Douglass Catholic School in East Finchley has created the winning garden design in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Green Plan It Challenge for London.

The ten-week challenge saw over seventy green-fingered 12-14 year-olds tasked with developing a design for a new school or community garden, working alongside professional garden designers, landscape architects and other horticultural industry insiders.

The students presented their imaginative 3D design for a new ‘Beautiful and Beneficial’ school garden for judging at Capel Manor College in Enfield on Wednesday 13 December, competing against 11 other school teams from across the capital.   

Their design included many areas for the students to relax in, including plants with sensory, therapeutic, wildlife-friendly and air cleaning properties.

Led by students, the challenge encouraged pupils to consider the benefits of communal green spaces and explore environmental issues while developing leadership, teamwork and creative skills.

Dr Sue Williams at Bishop Douglass Catholic School said: “What a transformation ten weeks can make! From very simple or no gardening knowledge, our six students have grown and developed in a wonderful way.

“Our mentor Dave Hine, a landscape architect at Thomson Ecology, passed over his enthusiasm and mastery to them, and they have begun to play and run with ideas beyond their years. They are now so excited about design and growing, and can’t wait to start putting their design into reality.”