With this summer set to become one of the hottest and driest to date, the RHS has announced that it is collaborating with Cranfield University to recruit and train the UK’s first garden water scientist.
This pioneering role has been created in response to climactic changes that are resulting in more extreme weather events, and aims to better prepare the country’s gardeners for periods of drought and flood. The water scientist will explore ways to improve water provision in gardens by adopting new technologies, developing better management strategies, and encouraging gardeners to adopt mindful gardening practices. Enquiries from RHS members about how to save their dry gardens have increased by 26% so far this year, and the RHS expects that number to increase as the hot summer continues.
Head of Cranfield Water Science Institute, Professor Paul Jeffrey, says, “As water resources come under additional strain, both farmers and gardeners will need to change their behaviours and make better use of new scientific understandings and innovations.” The water scientist will be based at RHS Wisley, where a new Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning will open in 2020.
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