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RHS Alison Goding

28 April 2010

Weave your way into history at RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Enter an open competition to design a willow sculpture for landmark launch of new learning centre.

A rare opportunity to make a lasting artistic impression at one of the North’s most inspirational Gardens is open to people of all ages. RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate, is inviting members of the public to send in designs for an environmentally friendly willow sculpture which will take pride of place outside the innovative carbon neutral Bramall Learning Centre which will open at the end of June.

The winning designer will be invited to work with renowned sculptor Phil Bradley to create the willow sculpture and also unveil it at the official launch of the Bramall Learning Centre and Blundell Library on 29th June. The sculpture will form the centrepiece of the new wildlife pond at the heart of the new Montague Burton Teaching Garden which will be used by up to 10,000 school children and adult learners each year.

Elizabeth Balmforth, newly appointed curator of RHS Garden Harlow Carr, said, “2010 is a momentous year for us. We’re opening the UK’s most eco-friendly learning centre for gardeners, and celebrating our diamond (60th) anniversary as the premier garden in the North. We’re looking for designs which reflect both these milestones, and the environmental themes of the new building and the wildlife pond. The unveiling of the winning sculpture on 29th June will symbolise 60 years of innovative gardening at Harlow Carr, and open a summer of special events for all generations of gardeners.”

The competition is open to everybody interested in being part of the exciting launch of the Bramall Learning Centre. Entries should be drawn on A4 paper and submitted to The Marketing Dept, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate, Crag Lane, HG3 1QB.

The closing date is 28th May and the winner will be notified by 4th June. Further details can be found at

Phil Bradley said, “I’m really excited to be part of this innovative project and I hope it captures the imagination of the great British public. For the sculpture itself, I will be using one year old willow rods which come from my organic willow beds grown in Cumbria where I live and is the most sustainable material I can think of to work with. We have already used willow at Harlow Carr to create sculptures of everything from pirate ships and whales to living Arbours and raised beds in the kitchen garden, and I’m looking forward to working with the winner of this competition to bring their design to life too.”

The Bramall Learning Centre, which has been designed to be one of the country’s greenest buildings, boasts an array of environmentally friendly features including a ground source heat pump, solar panels, its own wind turbine, water recycling and a sedum-covered roof.

The building creates a space for the RHS to accommodate around 10,000 school children each year and a variety of activities and programmes to focus on sustainable gardening and the environment. The Centre will also house the Blundell Library, the northern branch of the RHS Lindley Library, which holds the world’s biggest collection of historical and contemporary horticultural literature.


About the RHS

The RHS offers school visits; teacher training through Continuing Professional Development; adult learning courses; family learning opportunities and RHS qualifications. For more information, visit

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people’s lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturalists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

Press release issue date: 26/04/2010.

Press contact:
For more press information, please contact: Karen Nixon or Alan Markham at The Partners Group on 01904 610077 or /

Picture shows:

RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate head gardener Alison Goding showing some of the previous willow sculptures in front of their new eco-friendly learning centre which is nearing completion.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Partners PR in the following categories: Entertainment & Arts, Leisure & Hobbies, Home & Garden, Women's Interest & Beauty, Environment & Nature, for more information visit