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Membership FAQs

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Membership options and benefits

  • What types of membership do you offer and how much does membership cost?

    The RHS offers a range of membership types to suit all needs from individual (perfect for 1 or 2 people) through to joint (ideal for families) and life membership. View a full breakdown of the membership types on offer. Please note joint membership is only available for two people living at the same address.

  • What are the benefits of membership?

    RHS members enjoy a host of benefits including supporting all the charitable work we do to bring the joy of gardening to millions:

    • Free days out to more than 150 UK gardens. Plus bring a family guest for free to the four RHS Gardens. Entry at some gardens is at selected periods. Please visit rhs.org.uk/partnergardens for details of access and opening times
    • Priority booking and discounted RHS Show tickets: RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, RHS Show Cardiff and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
    • The Garden, monthly magazine (£51 per year)
    • Personalised gardening advice and much more
  • What is included in the life membership pack?

    When you pledge your support to us for life from April 2012 you’ll receive all the benefits of RHS Membership unlimited, for life. Plus, you’ll also receive a luxury membership pack which includes: your handbook, a limited edition RHS Life Member pin badge, an RHS Life Member window sticker, an exclusive RHS Life Member Gardening Journal and pen so that you can keep note of all your horticultural inspiration.

Starting an RHS membership

  • How can I apply for membership?

    • Online at rhs.org.uk/join
    • Face-to-face: at the entrances of the four RHS Gardens and at RHS Shows
    • By phone: Call 0845 130 4646 (we’re open weekdays 9am – 5pm, excluding bank holidays)
  • How can I pay for membership?

    You can pay for your membership online by annual Direct Debit or by credit or debit card. If you pay by card, the full annual payment will be charged to your card within a few days of completing the form. If you would like to pay by any other method, please contact our Membership Services Department on 0845 130 4646 (we’re open weekdays 9am – 5pm, excluding bank holidays).

  • If I go to one of the four RHS Gardens today, can I take out a membership when I arrive?

    Yes, you can choose to join at the garden entrance at all our gardens, please just ask a member of staff. Alternatively, if you pay the normal entry fee at the main entrance, hold on to your receipt and if you take out individual or joint membership as you leave the garden you can exchange up to a maximum of two garden entrance tickets per membership on the day of your visit.

  • If I join the RHS online today, when can I buy RHS Show tickets at members' rates?

    You can buy members' tickets to the RHS Shows online 48 hours after you have joined the RHS at www.rhs.org.uk/shows – you will need to quote your 8-digit membership number which is included in your new member email confirmation when you buy membership online. Or, you can order tickets straight away by calling 0844 338 7502.

  • Does RHS membership guarantee me tickets for RHS Shows including RHS Chelsea Flower Show?

    We can’t guarantee RHS Show tickets for any of our visitors including members, as all our Show tickets are subject to availability. Members enjoy a priority show ticket booking period every year before Show tickets go on general sale to the public. To give you the best chance to get the availability you need for a Show, we encourage our members to book during our priority booking period for the following year's shows or to book for another show. Plus, take advantage of our FREE RHS Shows at RHS Garden Wisley and Hyde Hall.

  • What is the benefit to me of paying by Direct Debit?

    Direct Debit payments are secure and when you choose to pay this way you are guaranteed never to miss a day’s RHS membership. The Direct Debit will be taken as one annual payment. We’ll always write to you before renewal to remind you of the cost and date. Plus, you’ll be helping the RHS save money so we can do more charitable work.

  • What date does the membership start from?

    You can start to use your membership as soon as you receive your order confirmation email with your membership number. Your membership will be processed and will start shortly after you join online; your welcome pack including your membership card and handbook will arrive within 10 working days.

    For gift membership, the membership is valid for one year and will start once the gift recipient has activated their membership online or by phone and a membership welcome pack has been received.

  • How long does the membership welcome pack take to be delivered?

    You should allow 10 working days for your membership card and handbook to be posted to you.

  • What does the RHS do with money from members?

    The RHS uses money from membership subscriptions to help fund our charitable work. Together, we’ll be helping almost three million school children sow, grow and learn through our Campaign for School Gardening as well as inspiring communities right across Britain to get gardening.

RHS gift membership

  • Can I take out a membership as a gift for somebody else?

    Yes, you can buy someone membership as a gift. You must specify that it is a gift at the time of purchase and choose if you wish the gift pack to be sent to yourself to wrap up, or direct to the gift recipient. If you choose for the pack to be sent to the gift recipient, we can include a personal message from you.

  • How long should I allow for a gift membership pack to arrive?

    Please allow 5 working days for delivery (14 days for deliveries outside the UK).

  • How much does gift membership postage cost?

    Delivery is free to UK addresses (total cost of gift membership is £54). Delivery to European addresses is £3 (total cost is £57); rest of world costs £7 (total cost is £61).

  • What is included in the RHS gift membership pack?

    RHS gift membership comes beautifully presented in a luxury gift pack, which includes an exclusive RHS bag and a £5 RHS Shop voucher to spend at any of our four RHS Garden shops or plant centres.

    We’ll also include a unique activation code in the gift pack so the recipient can choose when to start their year’s membership.

    When you order gift membership, you can also choose to include a personal message to the gift recipient of up to 150 characters.

    You’ll support our charitable work with every gift membership purchase. Thank you.

Membership renewals

  • How can I renew my membership?

    You can renew your membership online, by phone or post. You don’t need to do anything until you receive your renewal notice which will include your renewal date and the cost of your next year’s membership. Your renewal letter will arrive approximately 6 weeks prior to your renewal date. Once you have received your letter you can renew online or call 0845 130 4646 (we’re open weekdays 9am – 5pm, excluding bank holidays).

Gift Aid

  • What is Gift Aid?

    Gift Aid is a Government scheme that adds 25p to every £1 you give the RHS – at no extra cost to you. Gift Aid is an easy way to ensure that charities receive more benefit from money given to them. If a donor has signed up for Gift Aid and is a UK basic or higher rate taxpayer, HM Revenue and Customs will give the charity an additional 25p for every £1 given by the donor. RHS members who sign up to Gift Aid will be making a much-valued additional contribution to the charitable work of the RHS.

  • Why does the RHS need Gift Aid?

    The ability to claim Gift Aid income has become more important to the RHS because, quite simply, we are engaging in more work now than at any other time in our 200-year history. Gift Aid will bring much needed income to help secure a future for gardens and gardening, and advance our charitable campaigns – growing our Campaign for School Gardening; engaging communities through RHS Britain in Bloom; developing our RHS Gardens; furthering research into issues affecting gardeners today – to name but a few.

  • How has RHS membership changed with the introduction of Gift Aid?

    The main change concerns the free guest that members can bring to an RHS garden. In order to claim Gift Aid, HM Revenue and Customs’ rules state that the benefits of membership can only be taken by the donor and their family. So all new RHS members will continue to be able to take a guest to an RHS garden for free, but this guest must be someone in their family.

  • Am I eligible to make a Gift Aid declaration to the RHS?

    To qualify for Gift Aid, you must pay an amount of UK tax (income tax and/or capital gains tax), which is equal to, or more than, the amount the RHS will reclaim in the tax year.

  • How do I know if I pay income tax?

    Look at papers relating to the monies paid to you. Savings/bank accounts normally deduct tax at source so a bank statement will normally show if tax has been deducted. Individual share dividend certificates also show where tax has been deducted.

  • How do I know if I pay income tax on my pension?

    As a pensioner you will receive a P60 each year, which will show any tax deductions.

  • Do I pay capital gains tax?

    You are usually aware if you pay capital gains tax, as you would have had to declare it. This would have been declared by yourself or by your accountant/financial advisor.

  • I don’t pay tax but my partner does. Can I still give Gift Aid?

    If you have joint membership and your partner pays tax then he/she can tick the Gift Aid box provided that the membership is paid either from your partner’s account or from a jointly held or named account. If you are an individual member, you must personally pay for your membership in order to tick the Gift Aid box.

  • I would like to buy RHS membership as a gift for a friend. Can I still give Gift Aid?

    No, the RHS cannot claim Gift Aid if you purchase membership on behalf of a friend. But if, at their renewal, your friend chooses to pay for the membership themselves and is a tax payer, then they can tick the Gift Aid box when their membership is due for renewal in a year’s time.

  • I’ve already made a Gift Aid declaration to the RHS. Do I have to fill in one every year?

    No. All your donations and/or membership subscriptions are covered under one declaration. You can cancel your declaration at any time by contacting our Membership Services Department (for example, if you cease to become a tax payer) on 0845 130 4646 (9am – 5pm Monday to Friday; excluding bank holidays).

  • Do I have to indicate that I have made a Gift Aid declaration on a tax return?

    Not if you are a standard rate tax payer and do not receive a tax return from HM Revenue & Customs. However, if you do receive a tax return, you must declare the information. If you pay tax at the higher rate, you can claim further tax relief via your Self Assessment tax return (higher rate taxpayers can claim back the difference between basic rate and higher rate tax).

  • Can I change my mind once I’ve joined the scheme?

    You are entitled to cancel your Gift Aid declaration at any time within the 30 days after this letter has been sent to you. Should you choose to withdraw from the scheme at any time in the future, or if you no longer pay enough income or capital gains tax to cover the amount claimed by the RHS, please just let us know and we can take your donations and/or membership subscription out of the Gift Aid scheme.

Can’t find an answer to your question?

If you have any queries, call us on 0845 130 4646 (we’re open weekdays 9am to 5pm, excluding bank holidays) or email membership@rhs.org.uk and we will be happy to answer your questions.