RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2015

Heather Birkby
14 years old from Broughton High School in Broughton, Preston
Winner of RHS Young School Gardener of the Year
Winner of KS3/P7-S2

About Heather

Heather has shown a love of plants ever since starting at Broughton High three years ago in year 7. During that time she has been a stalwart of all environmental and gardening related activities and has attended the school’s gardening club regularly throughout the year including Sunday workshops. She loves all aspects of plant care and is happy to undertake anything that is required. She is careful, observant and skilled so plants thrive under her care. Heather has helped with the school orchard and participated in local apple days promoting local varieties. She is also able to graft, train and look after the local variety tries to ensure they are more widely available for other school and community groups.
Heather has been involved in a lot of work around the community. Last year she helped design and plant a WW1 commemorative garden, originally just a patch of grass, at the front of the school. She is currently raising plants from seed and choosing plants to design a sensory garden at a local residential care home for those with dementia. She volunteers in this role and has so far donated over 15 hours of her time to it.

Judges' comments

"Heather is a truly skilled young lady. Her passion and knowledge is exceptional."

"Well deserved and well done. Your passion and commitment for what you do, coupled with your design flair and teaching ability are all great skills. Backed with excellent knowledge you are a worthy ambassador and winner for horticulture."

"Heather is a real example of a skilled junior horticulturalist, with knowledge in grafting, garden design and a keen understanding of the importance of planting for pollinators. Her charisma and ability to inspire others around her make her a very deserving winner!"

"Heather is an inspiration to us all. She gives her energy, creativity and time to her school and to her community, infecting all with her passion for the subject and a smile that says 'I love what I do.' We need more Heathers in this world. A wonderful young lady with a bright future."

"All the judges loved Heather’s natural passion and enthusiasm for gardening. We were particularly impressed by her dedication to the sensory garden for elderly people with dementia, where she showed great leadership skills."

Heather's entry video

See the profiles of our other finalists:

Livvy Temme
Jasmin Foster-Leslie
Ben Moore

KS1/P1-2 Finalists
Daniel Tailby 
George Tatton
Tiffany Westacott

KS2/P3-6 Finalists
Noah Darch
Rhys Smith
Megan Pursell

KS3/P7-S2 Finalists
Olivia Higson
Louie Leonard
Jay Wallace

KS4/S3-4 Finalist 
Jack Phillips
Qudratullah Qudratullah
Dean Gordon

We've won awards!

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