The RHS Discovery zone of The Great Pavilion offered opportunities to learn from interactive displays highlighting education, community and science
The RHS Discovery zone was an interactive and informative part of The Great Pavilion focusing on plant science and education in a fun and involving way. Visitors were able to learn about the hard work of the Woodland Trust in reinstating ancient woodland in the UK and how the National Union of Students are promoting grow-your-own ingredients.
Sparsholt College was at the show with its display The Paper Chase (GPA15). The display showed how paper is made - from selecting suitable tree species to pulping and further production. The display also highlighted recycling paper cups and then turning cups to composts; something all gardeners can do to help the environment.
The Food and Environment Research Agency (GPA6) had an eye-catching display based on its work in controlling pests and disease in crops. Visitors were able to learn from FERA staff, engaging leaflets and a touch screen. They also enjoyed the fascinating on-going experiment in oilseed rape - altering yellow petals to reds and blues, using dyes, to deter pollen beetle pests which are attracted to green, yellows and whites.
There was also an opportunity to walk through the atmospheric tunnel of the Woodland Trust display Beauty Sleeping (GPA5) and learn all about our woods and forests. The tunnel represented a passage through time and progress, from the dark, monocultural conifer forests to the reinstating of ancient woodlands which encourages light, greater biodiversity and more sustainability. Lee Chadwick of the Woodland Trust said, 'ancient woodland covers only 2% of the UK, yet is one of the most biodiverse habitats.'
Capel Manor College was in The Great Pavilion with its stand Small is Plentiful (GPA12) highlighting community food production across Greater London. Visitors learned about the success story of Capel Manor College's growing scheme and others in London such as Hackney-based 'Growing Communities' with a thousand members.
NUS Student Eats is an initiative from the National Union of Students that aims to encourage growing fresh ingredients and healthy eating. Three containers highlighted international crops that students can grow, the timings for growing in a typical term, and plants that are key to student enterprises such as selling chilli chutneys. Project manager Ánges Knoll manages NUS Student Eats and was happy to come to Chelsea to promote the ever-growing project.
Miracle-Gro were back, this time with their display Miracle Gro'wers Discovery & Learning Garden (GPA3). Schoolchildren and schools across the country have grown a range of ornamentals and crops. They've experimented with different media and feeding regimes and the results, which were brought to Chelsea, are plain to see. Visitors were able to talk to the schoolchildren and teachers throughout the week about all their hard work.
See all the awards of the displays in RHS Discovery (21kB pdf)