Rhs Wisley

A RESOUNDING all-party “no” was the verdict at last Thursday’s Woking Borough Council meeting in response to a recommendation by the executive committee to support RHS Wisley’s application for a grant of £100,000.

There was an impressive display of unity from councillors across the political spectrum in their unequivocal rejection of the proposal.

RHS Wisley requested a grant of £100,000

Only council leader David Bittleston supported the motion to approve the grant, with 24 voting against the motion and four abstentions.

First to speak in the debate was Liberal Democrat Will Forster.

“The Lib Dems and I do not support this application for a grant to RHS Wisley,” he said.

Cllr Forster said that, last year, Citizens Advice, Woking, got £38,000 less than the year before, and the local credit union asked for £18,000 in grants but got £12,000.

Cllr David Bittleston argued strongly in favour of approving the grant

“When the Meadow Sports Group in my ward, which supports young people getting physically active and having a healthy lifestyle, sought £15,000 funding, they secured just £4,000,” he said.

“When another organisation outside our borough, the Surrey Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, sought £25,000 for work they do in our area in a building inside our area, not outside, they didn’t get anything – not a penny,” added Cllr Forster.

Cllr Bittleston was vigorous in his support for the application. He said the RHS Wisley grant would not affect other revenue account grants, as it would come from the capital account.

“We already give significantly more – 10 times more in some cases – to local community groups than many other boroughs and districts,” he said.

“We are an exemplar and the RHS Wisley request would not be a revenue account spend.”

He added that the benefit of giving the money to RHS Wisley “would be enormous for the residents of the borough”.

For the full story get the 1 August edition of the News & Mail

NOTHING could dampen the excitement – not even the rain – at RHS Garden Wisley on Monday when Britain’s best-loved gardener, RHS Ambassador and Vice-President Alan Titchmarsh, opened a new multi-million pound building with a promise to get Greening Great Britain.

The nation’s favourite gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, braves the rain at the opening of the new welcome building at the RHS Wisley Gardens.

To celebrate the opening of the welcome building, Alan hung his ‘Greening Great Britain Promise’ on a cherry tree in front of the new centre. His pledge to continue his support for specialist British nurseries and encourage the nation’s 27 million gardeners to do the same was in support of the RHS-led campaign.

He was helped by three-year-old RHS life member Rosie O’Hare, who was born at the garden in 2016, and was wearing a floral crown as she helped Alan to hang his promise on the tree joining hundreds of others who have already given their promise to “Greening Great Britain”

Alan said: “Millions visit Wisley every year to be inspired by the horticulture on display and now the RHS flagship site will be a permanent showcase to celebrate specialist UK growers, just as it does at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and its other world-famous events. These plant specialists lovingly grow the rarest, most unusual and beautiful varieties in the world, which thrive in UK gardens because they’re so used to our climate.”

The new state-of-the-art welcome building includes a bigger Plant Centre covering 5000sqm, will be selling Britains biggest variety of rare and unusual plants as part of the its stock and will show tens of thousands of plants and feature displays by specialist UK growers all year round.

The centre also contains improved visitor facilities including a spacious arrivals hall, a 100-seater restaurant, a bigger selection of gardening and artisan products and a larger café.

For the full story get the 13 June edition of the News & Mail

IF YOU go down to the RHS Wisley Garden you’re sure of some big – and small – surprises.

Wisley Garden is hosting The Great Brick Safari, which features 40 sculptures ranging from African elephants to insect-devouring plants.

Hamish and Teddy intriguing a gazelle

Displayed throughout the establishment’s famous Glasshouse is a collection of exotic creatures and plants made from Lego components.

Lily teases a tiger

The Glasshouse Gallery is also running Lego brick workshops, where children can make a model and then purchase it to take home.

The event is open from 10am to 4.30pm every day until Sunday 3 March, with the creations on show in both the temperate and tropical zones of the Glasshouse.

Edward and Rebecca at the Zebra enclosure

For more pics get the 7th Feb edition of the News & Mail.