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Children need to learn gardening?

Children need to learn gardening?

From the water vole to the Scottish wildcat, the dwindling numbers of Britain’s most at-risk animals are well documented. But now the alarm bell is sounding over a rather more overlooked endangered species: green-fingered children.

Young people are so rarely spotted in gardens across Britain nowadays that the Royal Horticultural Society is warning that the country is facing a green skills crisis unless more learn to garden.

The society’s director general, Sue Biggs, says that generations of children are growing up disconnected from nature because they are not being taught about gardening at school. “In a few years’ time, we won’t have enough gardeners to keep the 22 million gardens in this country going, and that will only make environmental issues worse,” she asserts.

Biggs believes that although a career in horticulture is a perfect fit for a young person passionate about fighting the climate crisis, few are encouraged to take up gardening. Many universities and colleges have stopped offering horticultural science and botany courses as a result, she adds. “The last five positions we filled at Wisbech, our flagship garden in Surrey, have all been given to people from overseas. We cannot find people who are British, trained at a British university.”

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