Green Plan It Challenge

Uncover the power of plants and the role they play in our lives

Welcome to the Challenge!

Want to inspire your students about nature and plants, and build their skills and confidence? Then this is the project for you!

We're on the look out for teams of Year 8-9 / S2-3 students to take part in this year's Green Plan It Challenge.

Over the course of 10 weeks in the Autumn term, students across the UK will be tasked with researching, planning and building a model showing us their ideas of what would make an innovative or exciting new garden for their school or local community.

Teams are matched with a mentor from the horticultural industry who will guide them through the project, offering their knowledge of plants and challenging them to think about the purpose of their design.

The project begins with a launch event for teams to attend where activities, games and discussions will get their creative minds going and get them set for their challenge.

At the end of the 10 weeks, students will compete against other local schools and present their designs at a celebration event to see who is crowned the winner!

Why take part?

The project is designed to be student led and allows them to explore community needs and environmental issues, as well as grow their understanding of how plants and nature play such a valuable role in our lives.

We've also made sure it is relevant to a number of curriculum subjects including Science, D&T, Geography and Art, as well as PSHE and Citizenship, to give you more opportunity to include the work in lesson time. Alternatively the project is great for extra-curricular clubs such as STEM clubs or gardening clubs. While we limit the number of people per team to attend the launch and celebration days, this can be a whole-class or club project, or even bigger if you wish!

By taking part, students will explore and build on a number of skills including:

  • leadership
  • teamwork
  • presentation skills
  • creative thinking
  • self confidence

This is also a great opportunity for students to get an insight into the horticulture industry and learn about the breadth of jobs that are available - they'll see it's more than just digging and planting!

What's the process?

  • Sign up to one of our regional hubs: Bristol, Edinburgh, Essex, Greater Manchester, Leicester, Leeds, Sheffield, Sunderland or Surrey (unfortunately we are unable to offer the challenge to all parts of the UK at this time)
  • You can register up to three teams to take part (but please note that due to venue sizes, a maximum of six students per team may attend the launch and celebration events)
  • We will then match each team with a local industry mentor
  • Your team(s) will be invited to attend an inspiring launch event in autumn where they will met their mentor and the RHS team to take part in fun activities and hear more about the challenge
  • Over 10 weeks your teams will then need to work on their design at school with your support. Your team's mentor will also provide advice and help. We recommend around a minimum of 2 hours a week is spent on the challenge but you can spend more.
  • In December, your team(s) will be invited to attend a celebration event at their regional hub to present their designs to a small panel of (friendly!) assessors, receive feedback on their work and celebrate their achievements with their industry mentors.

What does it cost?

There is no fee to enter and your local RHS Advisor will be on hand to help and guide you through the challenge.

Schools are only required to provide transport to the venue for the launch and celebration events and any materials for your team(s) plans and model.

Key dates and details

Bristol: University of Bristol Botanic Garden, BS9 1JG
Launch Day: Thursday 13th September 2018
Celebration Day: Thursday 29th November 2018

Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden, EH3 5NZ
Launch Day: Tuesday 4th September 2018
Celebration Day: Tuesday 27th November 2018

Essex: RHS Garden Hyde Hall, CM3 8ET
Launch Day: Tuesday 18th September 2018
Celebration Day: Wednesday 12th December 2018

Greater Manchester: University of Salford, M5 4BR
Launch Day: Friday 14th September 2018
Celebration Day: Friday 30th November 2018

Leicester: University of Leicester Botanic Garden, LE2 2LD
Launch Day: Thursday 13th September 2018
Celebration Day: Thursday 6th December 2018

Leeds: Leeds University Union, LS2 9JZ
Launch Day: Friday 21st September 2018
Celebration Day: Tuesday 11th December 2018

Sheffield: Botanical Gardens, S10 2LN
Launch Day: Monday 10th September 2018
Celebration Day: Thursday 13th December 2018

Sunderland: Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, SR1 1PP
Launch Day: Tuesday 18th September 2018
Celebration Day: Tuesday 4th December 2018

Surrey: RHS Garden Wisley, GU23 6QB
Launch Day: Friday 21st September 2018
Celebration Day: Wednesday 5th December 2018

Up for the Challenge?

Applications for schools are now closed but if you are interested in the challenge (or have any questions), contact us at

Building skills and growing ideas

Watch our video to find out more about the Green Plan It Challenge
(once playing, click the square icon in the bottom right corner to make the video full screen)


Inspiring stories from 2016

Read about previous entries to get inspiration for this year:

Interested in becoming a mentor?

Becoming a Green Plan It Challenge mentor is an exciting opportunity to help young people learn about the world of plants and challenge their perception of horticulture.

As a mentor you will guide a group of up to six students through the 10 week challenge, offering advice and support as they plan their perfect garden space.

Click here for more details


We've won awards!

Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
Winner of the ERA 2017 awards
Winner of the Third Sector 2017 awards