Green Plan It Challenge

Exploring the purpose and power of plants

What is the Green Plan It Challenge?

A ten week challenge in the Autumn Term (September - December) for Year 8 and 9 / S2 and 3 students to imagine and design a garden for the school or a community space. 

Your students will work with an industry mentor to carry out research before building a model of their chosen garden to bring their ideas to life.

At the end of the challenge, students will compete against other local schools and present their designs at a celebration event.

Why take part?

The Green Plan It Challenge is designed to be student led, allowing them to explore community needs and environmental issues.  

The Challenge is relevant to curriculum subjects including Science, D&T, Geography and Art, as well as PSHE and Citizenship.

Through the Challenge, students will explore and build on a number of skills including:

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

As well as building key skills, students will have the opportunity to explore the horticulture industry and learn about the breadth of jobs available.

Horticulture offers a wide range of exciting careers from plant science and garden design, to photography and journalism. One day they could be exploring the world in search of rare plants, keeping the grounds of their favourite football team green, or they may have an office high in the trees or in a stunning botanic garden.

"This project has equipped our students with invaluable skills which will prepare them for future success in many different areas"
- The Derby High School, Manchester

"Green Plan It - an outstanding opportunity to combine creative thinking, teamwork and careers. Life long skills in action!"
- Rawlett School, Birmingham

What is the process?

  • Schools will be invited to apply to participate in one of our regional hubs: Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich or Sheffield.
  • You can register up to three teams of up to six students per team.
  • The RHS will then match each team with a local industry mentor.
  • The students will be invited to attend an inspiring launch event in autumn where they will met their mentor and the RHS team to learn more about the Green Plan It Challenge.
  • During the ten week challenge the students will work on their design at school, with advice from their industry mentor. We recommend around a minimum of 2 hours a week is spent on the challenge but you can spend more.
  • In December, all participating students will be be invited to attend a celebration event at their regional hub to present their designs for assessment, receive feedback on their work and celebrate their achievements with their industry mentors.

What does it cost?

Support for the Green Plan It Challenge is provided by the RHS.  Schools are only required to provide transport to the venue for the events and some design and modelling materials.

Key dates and details

Birmingham: Winterbourne House, B15 2RT
Launch Day: Friday 6th October 2017
Celebration Day: Friday 15th December 2017

Bristol: University of Bristol Botanic Garden, BS9 1JG
Launch Day: Thursday 28th September 2017
Celebration Day: Thursday 7th December 2017

Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden, EH3 5NZ
Launch Day: Tuesday 26th September 2017
Celebration Day: Monday 4th December 2017

London: Capel Manor College, EN1 4RQ
Launch Day: Wednesday 4th October 2017
Celebration Day: Wednesday 13th December 2017

Manchester: Whitworth Art Gallery, M15 6ER
Launch Day: Wednesday 27th September 2017
Celebration Day: Friday 8th December 2017

Newcastle: Kirkley Hall Campus, NE20 0AQ
Launch Day: Tuesday 3rd October 2017
Celebration Day: Tuesday 12th December 2017

Norwich: Easton and Otley College, NR9 5DX
Launch Day: Friday 22nd September 2017
Celebration Day: Friday 1st December 2017

Sheffield: Botanical Gardens, S10 2LN
Launch Day: Tuesday 19th September 2017
Celebration Day: Tuesday 5th December 2017

Up for the Challenge?

Applications for this year's Green Plan It Challenge are now closed. Check back in December 2017 to find out who our winners are.

If you have any questions, or would like to register your interest for 2018, 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 from last year's challenge to get inspiration for this year:

Interested in becoming a mentor?

Becoming a Green Plant 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.

Find out more and apply.

We've won awards!

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