The Prince of Wales dug deep today at his Scottish home of Birkhall and planted a hydrangea in support of a new national campaign set up to encourage people from across Britain to learn more about plants. #MillionPlantingMoments promotes the physical and mental health benefits that gardening provides as well as the huge contribution it makes to our environment and communities.
#MillionPlantingMoments (Saturday 19 – Sunday 27 September) is run by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and urges the nation to get planting this Autumn. The campaign also aims to educate budding gardeners, regardless of their gardening ability, about where their plants come from and the importance of plant health.
The campaign promotes the sourcing of healthy plants, which is critical from a biosecurity perspective and because healthy plants will grow well and encourage more planting. His Royal Highness is a long-time advocate of promoting plant health along with the benefits of plants on the environment.
#MillionPlantingMoments runs alongside Defra’s first UK Plant Health Week and is part of the wider Keep Britain Growing campaign, which provides monthly inspiration to give new gardeners support and motivation.
These campaigns build on the emergence of a new army of gardeners during lockdown - hoping to educate and inspire them to become lifelong gardeners. New research conducted by the HTA found that almost three million gardeners sprung up as a result of lockdown with nearly half (49%) of the new green fingered fans aged under 45.
2020 has also seen a big uptake in the proportion of people growing plants, trees and flowers as well as growing their own fruit and vegetables.
HTA President Boyd Douglas-Davies comments: “We are very grateful for the support from The Prince of Wales at a time when the benefits of planting and gardening have never been more important both to our environment and climate change.
“#MillionPlantingMoments aims to highlight the huge contribution that plants make to our environment. Anyone can take part, whether they have access to a community space, garden, patio or window box and they can plant anything from trees and shrubs to perennials and bedding.
“Gardening benefits mental health and wellbeing across all generations and this was particularly reinforced during lockdown. Our survey indicates that younger people are gardening more and we need to keep them engaged to have a positive impact on both our environment and on their health.
“We would encourage everyone to visit their local garden centre to find out the best plants for their space and share #MillionPlantingMoments on social media.”
Lord Gardiner, Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, said: “I am delighted to support the HTA’s campaign, which excitingly coincides with the UK’s first ever Plant Health Week.
“Climate change and increasing globalisation have huge implications for the health of the world’s plants, so I enthusiastically support an initiative that ensures that the UK’s plants and trees are protected from harmful pests and diseases.
“Access to nature is more important than ever. That is why I encourage everyone to get planting this autumn, and to join us in celebrating the rich beauty of nature.”