The HTA took part in a tour with the All-Party Parliamentary Gardening and Horticulture Group (APPGHG) at RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival on Tuesday 2 July 2019. The Parliamentarians were given a tour of gardens at the show that the overarching themes of the APPGHG’s 2018 report “Securing the future of the garden and horticultural sector”. Major subjects discussed during the tour included environmental issues such as responsible use of water and plant health & biosecurity, the health and well-being benefits of ornamental horticulture, landscaping, cultivating skills and careers in the sector.
Parliamentarians on the tour included the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Robert Goodwill MP who was particularly interested in water conservation and tree health.
Along the tour they visited the Beth Chatto Drought Resistant Garden, The RHS Back to Nature Garden, The Thames Water Flourishing Future Garden, Defra’s Year of Green Action Garden, and also visited HTA members in the Floral Marquee. These gardens gave the opportunity to highlight the Government could work with sector leaders to promote ornamental horticulture and landscaping as a highly skilled and desirable industry to enter, how the Government should consider ornamental horticulture in policy making and consult with the industry on all matters including health, horticulture and the environment, and how the Government might consider providing matched funding to support applied horticultural science research and development projects that deliver across the whole supply chain from production to landscape.
The HTA worked alongside other industry bodies the Arboricultural Association, BALI, The RHS, and The Society of Garden Designers to design the tour around the issues facing our industry and assisted the tour guides with highlighting these issues to the Parliamentarians by discussing ways that Government might assist the industry in achieving the goals set out in the 2018 report.