Schools Outreach

The key objective of the Schools Outreach project is to open your eyes to the huge range of careers available under the umbrella of horticulture, and to improve inclusiveness and diversity in the industry. The project engages with school pupils of different ages and backgrounds, introducing you to the myriad opportunities in horticulture. Whatever you study, whatever you enjoy, you can find a horticultural link.

For some ideas, take a look at our video below:

What is Horticulture?

Today the sector has broadened immeasurably, and horticulture includes a wide spectrum of disciplines fundamental to human existence. The image of a gardener no longer represents the extraordinary range of skills needed to meet the demands of our industry today.

It is difficult to overstate the dependence of all life on horticulture. Plants and water are fundamental to life - without them we would have no oxygen, no food and therefore no life at all.

London’s parks and plane trees
London’s parks and plane trees are its lungs. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. They also absorb pollution, making the city air cleaner.

Horticulture is going to play an increasingly important role in combating climate change and there will be an ever-wider range of opportunities available to those who wish to make a difference to the future of our world.

We depend on plants

Everything you eat depends on plants – you eat them as fruit and vegetables or made into bread etc. The animals which produce milk, eggs and meat eat them too.

Take a look at the BBC’s Green Planet, David Attenborough makes plants fascinating.

A farm with fields of crops
A farm with fields of crops

Careers Fair

Every summer we participate in the annual Livery Schools Link Careers Showcase at the Guildhall which is visited by hundreds of both primary and secondary pupils. Students have opportunities to meet professionals and college graduates who offer career and education guidance. For further information please visit this link.

School Visits and Trips

We visit schools with professionals from the industry, to make presentations designed to spark the interest of school children in horticulture and to show them the wide spectrum of opportunities through many disciplines. If you would like us to visit your school, please contact us here.

A group of school children and their teacher looking at a tree

We organise bespoke insight/educational days at various gardens and institutions within Greater London for school groups with professional speakers/guides. For further details please contact us here.

Career Options

The world is your oyster... Don’t just take our word for it – take a look at David Domoney talking about careers in horticulture:

The range of horticulture is enormous including the high tech, the practical, the creative, scientific research, forensic analysis, and more.

Greenkeeping is a scientific and highly technical skill. The top greenkeepers are very highly paid and travel all over the world.
And sports pitch managers
Working outside is good for your mental health.
Florist table display
Florists create wonderful displays...
Florist table display
...the only limit is your imagination
A 3D visualisation of a city
You can design cities…
A 3D visualisation of a city
...and look after them

For more ideas, take a look at the Royal Horticultural Society Careers Information page.

Next steps

There are many universities, colleges and further education institutions offering a wide variety of courses at all levels, as well as many apprenticeship opportunities. The right one for you depends on which area interests you the most.

If the research angle appeals to you, most universities offer appropriate science degrees which you can then take to institutions such as East Malling Horticultural and Agricultural Research Centre. Many universities offer degree courses in horticulture and agriculture too.

Here are some ideas for you to explore:

Capel Manor College, Enfield

London’s only specialist environmental college is a key partner in the capital’s green agenda. It offers a diverse range of professional full and part-time courses in land-based skills ranging from design, landscaping, conservation, floristry as well as vocational and practical courses in all aspects of horticulture at all levels.

Capel Manor College

Pershore College, Evesham

A national centre for horticulture, Pershore College offers courses for school leavers, apprenticeships, and degree courses. You can study all aspects of horticulture from soil science, propagation, garden planning and design, right through to the latest technology in hydroponics in their state-of-the-art facilities.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Offers Diploma qualifications in all aspects of horticulture, apprenticeships and post-graduate science courses.

Kew Gardens students

Writtle University College, Chelmsford

Offers post-graduate, degree, college, apprenticeship and short courses in horticulture and agriculture.

Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley

Offers Levels 1, 2, 3 and diploma qualifications, apprenticeship programmes, internships

Sparsholt College, Hampshire

Offers full and part time and online courses Levels 1-3 and apprenticeships in horticulture, agriculture, arboriculture, forestry management, wildlife management and more.

Chartered Institute of Horticulture

Also includes information on grants and bursaries available

Why you should go into Horticulture

  • A rewarding and fulfilling career
  • Creative
  • Helping to combat climate change
  • Good work life balance
  • Friendly community
  • Team work
  • See the results of your labours