Members, partners and supporters gathered at the Royal Welsh Show to hear RWAS plans for a new horticultural village at the 2024 event.
The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has unveiled its plans to launch a new-look horticulture section at the Royal Welsh Show in 2024.
The promotion of horticulture is one of the RWAS’s key charitable objectives and plans are underway to establish a new horticultural village at next year’s show.
The village will celebrate all aspects of horticulture in Wales – from community to commercial growing, competitive showing and displays, alongside promoting the health and social benefits of gardening, education and building a resilient supply chain of sustainable Welsh produce.
The ethos of the new horticultural village is to ‘inspire, educate and collaborate’ - a space to inspire by showcasing excellence with competitive exhibits and displays, a place for education and learning by working in partnership with schools and colleges and an opportunity to collaborate through inclusive social spaces, meeting areas and demonstration stages.
RWAS chair of board, Professor Wynne Jones highlighted the importance of horticulture in Wales and how the society’s role as a charity can help in providing a platform to promote the industry at the Royal Welsh Show, and potentially at our other events.
RWAS honorary show director, Richard Price thanked those who took part in the strategic planning workshop held at Aberglasney Gardens earlier this year. Key stakeholders with an interest in horticulture came together with the RWAS Horticulture Committee and staff to discuss the horticultural village plans.
RWAS chief executive, Aled Rhys Jones outlined the new vision for the horticultural village and shared potential design ideas of how it may look, based on key ideas around inclusivity and biodiversity, with a stage area for talks, seminars and interactive displays and stall spaces for exhibitors.
Central to the village will be areas for competitive showing, particularly the floral art and vegetable produce, for which the Royal Welsh Show is renowned.
The wider benefits that horticulture, gardening, and the outdoors have for our mental health and wellbeing are now acknowledged widely. The RWAS is keen to implement areas in the village that reinforce this message, such as communal seating and a sensory garden for visitors to enjoy a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle of the show.
“We are very excited about these plans and want the space to be inclusive and appeal to all, from families to commercial growers.” said Aled Rhys Jones.
“We are still in the early stages of developing this concept and we see this as a collaborative project where different delivery partners, sponsors and stakeholders can help us deliver on this ambitious vision.
“We want this new horticultural village to be one of the biggest talking points of the 2024 Royal Welsh Show.”
Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “A vibrant horticulture sector is high on the Welsh Government's agenda for developing a sustainable agricultural industry as it delivers a range of environmental, social and economic benefits.
“The Royal Welsh Show is crucial in promoting Welsh agriculture and horticulture to the world, boosting trade opportunities and allowing new methods and technologies to be shared.
“It is important our horticulturalists are an integral part of this, which is why I am very pleased to hear the outline plans for the new horticultural village at next year's Show.”
The RWAS is inviting stakeholders, partners and supporters to get involved and share ideas and feedback in the coming months.
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