RHS Announces Record Charitable Investment As It Gets People Growing For Health, Happiness And The Environment

May 20th 2024

  • World’s leading gardening charity invested £94million in its research, outreach and showcasing of gardening in the last financial year
  • Figures were revealed ahead of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show that will put young people and green skills front and centre

The Charity renowned for delivering the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has revealed record investments into its charitable work last year. The announcement comes the week before the world’s foremost gardening show which raises vital funds for the charity and inspires the public to get gardening.

The RHS has invested a record £94 million into its mission of promoting gardening and horticulture over the last 12 months. This investment is £4 million more than the year before and £24 million more than five years ago.

Across its outreach programmes, more than 2,000,000 young people have been inspired to grow while 100,000 volunteers have set about greening and maintaining community spaces. A team of 80 scientists has also worked alongside 18 academic and industry partners to deliver 30 research programmes. These include assessing the viability of peat-free alternatives, identifying new slug species in UK gardens and assessing the eco-system service roles of hedges.

The funds that the gardening charity reinvests into its community outreach programmes, horticulture, and science has increased by almost 5% compared to the previous year, with an investment of £52 million.

In addition, the record investment includes charitable work to raise the profile of gardening and horticulture as a force for good through RHS Flower Shows and wider communications platforms.

In 2023 the RHS website attracted 26 million visitors with 18 million visiting its more than 2,000 free advice pages for help with growing inside and out. Some 5 million people also visited one of five RHS Gardens (RHS Garden Bridgewater, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, RHS Garden Rosemoor and RHS Garden Wisley) RHS Shows with membership standing at 626,000 at the end of the recent financial year.

The RHS is committed to exploring new ways to reach a bigger and more diverse audience. Recent innovations include its first RHS Urban Show in Manchester and the addition of three new world leading gardening shows from 2026.

Clare Matterson, RHS Director General, says:Not many people associate the glitz and glamour of RHS Chelsea with providing vital charitable funds for our community outreach, education and science work, and even more than that the Show is key to our charitable purpose to promote gardening and horticulture, reaching millions of people around the world."

At a time when gardening has never been so important, be it for health and wellness, wildlife and the local environment or even just the sheer joy it evokes, it’s really important that the RHS makes itself, its advice and its knowledge more accessible, more relevant and more exciting than ever before. That’s why young people and green skills will be centre stage at RHS Chelsea next week and we’re looking at ways to grow our already flourishing offering."

We know our science work has the potential to better enable the nation’s 28 million gardeners to make a huge positive collective difference in combatting pollution, preventing flooding and supporting threatened species."

RHS community outreach is transforming places for people across the nation and creating happier and healthier communities and neighbourhoods. For these reasons and so many more I’m immensely proud that we’re investing more than ever to get people growing for health, happiness and the environment.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 21st – 25th May (2024).

Source: RHS Press Release (20/05/2024)