RHS Council

The Council comprises the President, Treasurer, 15 members (all of whom are elected by the RHS membership) and up to two co-opted members (appointed by Council).

All Council members are Trustees of the RHS and the Society’s Charter provides for the President and Treasurer to serve as officers of the Society. Both of these office holders are elected annually by the membership at the Annual General Meeting and serve on the Council of the RHS as Trustees. The President also acts as the Chairman of Council.

President and Treasurer

President: Keith WeedPresident: Keith Weed

(Elected as President at the AGM in 2020)

As RHS President, Keith plays an active role in the governance of the RHS and is the Chairman of the Horticulture Board. He is also an ex-officio member of the Audit and Risk Committee, Council KIPs Group, Commercial Board, Investments Committee, Nominations, Appointments and Governance Committee and the People and Remuneration Committee.

Keith has gained broad experience in leading businesses in the public and charitable sectors as Chair, CEO and Director. He has experience in the key areas of developing and implementing strategy, supporting and guiding the CEO, fundraising and business delivery to fund charitable initiatives.

Keith is a regular visitor to the RHS Gardens and Shows and has a particular interest in the outreach of the Society to communities, its education programme and the positive impact gardening has on people’s physical and mental health.

Treasurer: Matthew Lindsey-Clark

Treasurer: Matthew Lindsey-Clark

(Elected to Council in 2016; elected as Treasurer at the AGM in 2019)

Matthew is Chairman of the Commercial Board, Investments Committee and the People and Remuneration Committee. He is an ex-officio member of the Audit and Risk Committee, Council KIPs Group, Council Technology Group, Horticulture Board, and the Nominations, Appointments and Governance Committee.

He is a Senior Managing Director in Evercore’s European Financial Institutions Group based in London. He has more than 30 years’ investment banking experience, specialising in advising financial services companies. He is also the Chief Operating Officer of Evercore’s European Advisory business.

Matthew takes great pleasure in gardens and gardening and has been a member of the RHS for many years.

Ordinary Members of Council

Member of Council: Professor Mick Crawley FRSProfessor Mick Crawley FRS

(Elected to Council in 2015. Re-elected in 2020; to retire at the AGM in 2025)

Mick is a member of the RHS Science Committee and Horticulture Board, Vice Chairman of the Woody Plant Committee and Chairman of the Bursaries Committee. He is Professor of Plant Ecology at Imperial College London and a member of the RHS since 1979. He is Chair of the Science Committee of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, Royal Society representative on the Advisory Committee of Chelsea Physic Garden, and has twice been a Trustee of Kew Gardens.

Mick’s horticultural specialities are trees and daffodils, and his research interests lie in the ecology of gardens – in the competitive relationships between crops and weeds, in the symbiotic effects of pollinators and mycorrhizal fungi, and the relations between plants and their pests and diseases.

Member of Council: Nick DunnNick Dunn

(Elected to Council in 2019; to retire at the AGM in 2024)

Nick is a member of the Horticulture Board, the Gardens Committee and the Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee, as well as a Garden Advisor at RHS Garden Wisley. He was Chairman of the Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee from 2014 to 2018.

He has also been an RHS Judge and contributed to RHS Fruit Trials. In 2018, he was presented the Society’s highest award, the Victoria Medal of Honour.

Nick is a passionate fruit and ornamental tree nurseryman and runs a successful family horticultural business. His research in hardy nursery stock propagation for more than 40 years offers a valuable practical experience to the RHS Council.

Member of Council: Sarah EberleSarah Eberle

(Elected to Council in 2018; to retire at the AGM in 2023)

Sarah is a member of the Horticulture Board, the Nominations, Appointments and Governance Committee, Gardens Committee and a Garden Advisor at RHS Garden Harlow Carr.

She has actively worked in the industry for 38 years on top of 5 years of full-time training. As a Garden Designer, Sarah has practical experience of projects both large and small and has a keen interest in plant health, engagement with young people and RHS Shows.

Member of Council: Tazim EssaniTazim Essani

(Elected to Council in 2022; to retire at the AGM in 2027)

Tazim Essani has been a member of the RHS Audit and Risk Committee since 2018 and is a non-executive director on two FTSE boards as well as an executive coach.

She is keen to ensure that the wellbeing benefits of gardens and green spaces are accessible to all and that everyone can find solace and joy in gardens and gardening.

Member of Council: Wesley KerrWesley Kerr

(Elected to Council in 2021; to retire at the AGM in 2026)
Wesley Kerr is a Trustee of the Royal Parks, Vice-President of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and a writer and broadcaster. He has a passion for sharing the joys of horticulture with the widest audience possible, which has included making a radio series about Britain in Bloom.

Wesley would like the world of horticulture to reach diverse audiences, and is particularly enthusiastic about community-based horticulture, all-age education and apprenticeships. He would like to see sustainable green spaces, local street trees being cherished and the improvement of public parks through advice and volunteering.

Member of Council: Tony KirkhamTony Kirkham

(Elected to Council in 2022; to retire at the AGM in 2027)

Tony Kirkham is Chair of the RHS Woody Plant Committee and a member of the RHS Horticulture Board and Awards Committee. He has more than 45 years of experience as a horticulturist and arboriculturist at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew curating the woody plant collections.

He served for 15 years on the RHS Bursaries Committee helping to raise the profile of horticulture and assisting with the careers of young gardeners. Today he sits on a number of boards including the Chelsea Physic Garden where he is Chair of the Garden Advisory Board and the Arboricultural Association where he is Vice President.  

Member of Council: Kate LampardKate Lampard

(Elected to Council in 2018 having been co-opted from 2017–2018; to retire at the AGM in 2023)

Kate Lampard is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the People and Remuneration Committee. She is also Chair of the Responsible Gambling Trust, a Trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and an established Verita associate.
She has served on the Nominations, Appointments and Governance Committee and was also Director of RHS Enterprises from 2008 to 2011.
Kate is experienced in a wide range of sectors having been Chair of Kent and Medway and Southeast Strategic Health Authorities, Vice-Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service, Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody, and a non-executive of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Her high-profile projects include leading the NHS investigations into Jimmy Savile by quality-assuring 34 independent investigations and producing an oversight report for the Secretary of State for Health. Serco published the report she produced alongside Verita’s managing partner following their review of the culture and treatment of detainees at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.
Kate’s work with Verita covers governance, organisational and system management, board and director development, investigations into organisational culture and management and service delivery.

Member of Council: Pamela MaynardPamela Maynard

(Elected to Council in 2021; to retire at the AGM in 2026)
Pamela Maynard is CEO of Avanade, a global technology company and the leading digital innovator in Microsoft technologies. Pamela has also been a member of the Council Technology Group since 2020. Pamela brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to aid the Society in becoming an accessible organisation for everyone.
Pamela’s passion for gardening was ignited at a young age and she is keen to incorporate her skills from the technology world with that of horticulture, focussing on inclusivity, education and sustainability, helping to build a brighter, greener future together. 

Member of Council: Lorna Parker

Lorna Parker

(Elected to Council in 2014. Re-elected in 2019; to retire at AGM in 2024)

Lorna is Chair of the Nominations, Appointments and Governance Committee and a member of the Commercial Board, Investments Committee and the People and Remuneration Committee.

An RHS member since her mid-20s, Lorna has been a keen amateur hands-on gardener since this time and has developed and maintained a small central London garden and a larger garden in southwest France.

Lorna’s executive career was largely spent in top-level executive search with Spencer Stuart, advising the boards of companies, small and large, private and public, on organisation structure, succession, recruitment and governance. Since retiring from full-time work, she has gained experience as a Non-Executive Director, Trustee, School Governor, FTSE Board Effectiveness Consultant, Senior Advisor to private equity and an active fundraiser.

Member of Council: Dr David Rae OBE FRSEDr David Rae OBE FRSE

(Elected to Council in 2015. Re-elected in 2020; to retire at the AGM in 2025)

David is Chairman of the Science Committee and the Awards Committee, and is also a member of the Horticulture Board. He is the Director of the Stanley Smith (UK) Horticultural Trust and Chairman of the Sibbald Trust. He sits on the Boards of National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii, St Andrews Botanic Garden and Mount Stuart Trust, Isle of Bute. He also sits on advisory committees for the University of Dundee Botanic Garden, Little Sparta Trust and Borde Hill.

He graduated with a BSc in Horticulture from the University of Bath in 1978 and joined the staff of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh as a lecturer, becoming Director of Horticulture and Learning 2000–2014.

David is a frequent conference speaker. He has undertaken fieldwork or projects in more than 20 countries and has published more than 50 papers. In 2008, he was awarded the Scottish Horticultural Medal and in 2014 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and awarded an OBE.

Member of Council: Darren ShareDarren Share

(Elected to Council in 2022; to retire at the AGM in 2027)

Darren has been involved with gardening all his life, starting as an apprentice gardener and now working for Birmingham City Council. Darren works to deliver the positive benefits of horticulture to communities and has a particular interest in gardening in an urban environment.  

He is part of the RHS Community Outreach Programme and is an RHS Britain in Bloom judge.

Member of Council: Professor Nicola SpenceProfessor Nicola Spence

(Elected to Council in 2021; to retire at the AGM in 2026)
Professor Nicola Spence is the UK Chief Plant Health Officer and has been a member of the Society’s Science Committee since 2016. Nicola has a BSc in Botany, an MSC Microbiology and a PhD in Plant Virology and has more than 25 years of experience in plant pathology research in horticulture and wild plants in the UK and Africa.
Nicola gardens on the Yorkshire Wolds and is a regular visitor to RHS Garden Harlow Carr, having been a member for more than 18 years. Her passion and skills see her take a strong personal and professional interest in protecting and promoting plants and trees.

Member of Council: Lady (Xa) TollemacheLady (Xa) Tollemache

(Elected to Council in 2013. Re-elected in 2018; to retire at the AGM in 2023)

Xa is Chair of the Gardens Committee and a member of the Horticulture Board as well as an RHS Judge.

Xa set up her own garden design business in 1996 and won an RHS Gold Medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 1997 for the Evening Standard garden and Silver Gilt medals in 2001 and 2003.

She lectures on garden design at institutes around the world where she can share her passion with the next generation of gardeners and horticulturists.

Member of Council: Janet WalkerJanet Walker

(Elected to Council in 2020; to retire at the AGM in 2025)

Janet has been a member of the Audit and Risk Committee since 2018. She has held a number of non-executive and executive roles in organisations with very different cultures and objectives and has a thorough knowledge of financial and corporate governance issues, both in respect of commercial companies and charities.

Janet has fulfilled the position of Bursar at Eton College for the last 9 years, having previously worked at Ascot Racecourse. She is a keen gardener and her garden at Eton is open annually on one of the National Garden Scheme days. 

Member of Council: Ruth WilmottRuth Willmott

(Elected to Council in 2019; to retire at the AGM in 2024)

Ruth has been a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, Commercial Board, the Council Technology Group and the Nominations, Appointments and Governance Committee. She studied Business Studies in Nottingham and a Masters in Management at Cambridge University before spending more than a decade in management consultancy. During this time, she gained valuable skills relevant across a wide range of disciplines as well as serving as a non-exec director for a small charity.

In 2008, after careful consideration, Ruth left consulting and followed her passion for gardening and design to train with the English Gardening School. She set up her garden design business in 2010 and has exhibited four gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, winning an RHS Gold medal and has twice won the People’s Choice Award for Best Fresh Garden.

Ruth’s design portfolio covers residential, commercial and community spaces with extensive experience in managing small to very large-scale projects. In 2018, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge visited community projects Ruth and her practice colleagues designed for Westminster City Council and Sayers Croft Forest School. These were ‘nature’ spaces created for inner-city school children and they have informed The Duchess of Cambridge’s work on nature and the Early Years Agenda.

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I enjoy a refreshing walk… my membership gives me free family days out as often as I like.

Mrs Giddings, RHS member

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.