Become a Green Plan It Challenge Mentor

Inspire the next generation through the power of plants

What is it?

The Green Plan It Challenge is a ten week project during the Autumn term (September - December) for Year 8 and 9 students to imagine and design a garden for their school or a new outdoor community space.

Teams of up to six students work with a 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 compete against other local schools and present their designs at a local celebration event.

How can you help?

We are looking for mentors to help guide small teams of students through the ten week challenge.

Being a mentor is an opportunity to help young people learn about the world of plants and challenge their perception of horticulture. Over 100 mentors took part last year and 92% felt the project was relevant to the needs of the horticulture industry and 78% felt the project was relevant to their own professional development.

Each mentor will work with their school team providing them with inspiration, guidance and practical tips from their own experience. Mentors are encouraged to spend at least one hour a week of time supporting the students.

The RHS will recruit and train all mentors, carry out relevant DBS or PVG checks and match mentors with local school teams.

What is the process?

  1. Register your interest to become a mentor
  2. We will contact you to confirm your role
  3. We will then match you with a local group of students
  4. You'll attend a half-day workshop in July 
  5. You'll attend a local regional launch event in September or October and meet your team
  6. You and your team will begin the 10 week challenge
  7. All teams in your local area will attend a celebration event in November or December to present your models and designs for a chance to win a trophy!

Up for the challenge?

Mentors will have worked or have experience in horticulture or a related industry e.g. landscape architecture, garden design, green space management and maintenance, gardener roles and garden retail.

Experience of working with schools or young people is not essential but you should have a passion for plants and a desire to share your interest with young people.

Read the full details by downloading the Mentor Role Description.

Mentor recruitment is currently closed but if you have any questions or would like to register your interest in next year's challenge, email


What last year's mentors said...

“Very pleased to have taken part and be part of a project with over 1,000 students to highlight what a varied industry horticulture is and the vast amount of opportunities within it.”

Richard Kay, Green-tech

“Being a mentor for the Green Plan It Challenge has been a humbling and satisfying experience. I have very much enjoyed enthusing a new generation of horticulturists.”

Tim Batchelor, Tim Does Gardens

"I have enjoyed the interaction that you get when working with school groups. It's provided me with a different perspective on how to work."

Vanessa Hampton, Walpole Park

Key dates

Birmingham: Winterbourne House, B15 2RT
Mentor Workshop: Thursday 27th July 2017
Launch Day: Friday 6th October 2017
Celebration Day: Friday 15th December 2017

Bristol: University of Bristol Botanic Garden, BS9 1JG
Mentor Workshop: Wednesday 26th July 2017
Launch Day: Thursday 28th September 2017
Celebration Day: Thursday 7th December 2017

Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden, EH3 5NZ
Mentor Workshop: Thursday 31st August 2017
Launch Day: Tuesday 26th September 2017
Celebration Day: Monday 4th December 2017

London: Capel Manor College, EN1 4RQ
Mentor Workshop: Tuesday 22nd August 2017
Launch Day: Wednesday 4th October 2017
Celebration Day: Wednesday 13th December 2017

Manchester: Whitworth Art Gallery, M15 6ER
Mentor Workshop: Friday 28th July 2017
Launch Day: Wednesday 27th September 2017
Celebration Day: Friday 8th December 2017

Newcastle: Kirkley Hall Campus, NE20 0AQ
Mentor Workshop: Tuesday 25th July 2017
Launch Day: Tuesday 3rd October 2017
Celebration Day: Tuesday 12th December 2017

Norwich: Easton and Otley College, NR9 5DX
Mentor Workshop: Wednesday 19th July 2017
Launch Day: Friday 22nd September 2017
Celebration Day: Friday 1st December 2017

Sheffield: Botanical Gardens, S10 2LN
Mentor Workshop: Tuesday 18th July 2017
Launch Day: Tuesday 19th September 2017
Celebration Day: Tuesday 5th December 2017

We've won awards!

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