Gold at Chelsea

June 10th, 2013

Nottingham academics won a gold medal at the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Researchers from the School of Biosciences — exhibiting for the first time  — won the Best RHS Environment Exhibit Award.

Food for the Future showcased plant and crop research by Nottingham bioscientists to meet the challenges of feeding a growing world population.

Dr Sean Mayes said: “We are delighted to be awarded the gold — it shows that the judges have appreciated what we are trying to do to communicate our research to the public by putting the science into plain English.

“It’s my first time at Chelsea and it’s quite an eye-opening experience. We have met lots of people and visitors to our stand have been so enthusiastic and interested in learning more about the work we are doing at Nottingham.”

Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh presented the University team, which also included Dr Katie Mayes and research fellow Saoirse Tracy, with their gold medal.

He said: “Ten exhibits made up the environmental display reflecting the fact that gardeners have become more environmentally aware.

“The category winner was The University of Nottingham and its Food for the Future stand, which showcases the latest plants and crops research including visions for the future of global food security.

“Gardening isn’t just about watering, mowing and getting wet in the winter, it’s about research and making sure we have food to eat and that we continue to produce food and to understand and control pests and disease.”

David Hazelgrove, RHS Council member and a member of the judging panel, said: “The stand relayed a very important message by clear and easily accessible means and people will take something away from their visit to the show.”

Professor Neil Crout, head of the School of Biosciences, said: “Achieving global food security is the one of the most pressing issues facing the world today. Through sustained research our work is focused on developing crops that will feed our growing world population, using fewer of the earth’s precious resources. This project is an excellent opportunity to showcase the School of Biosciences significant contribution to ensuring food for the future.”

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