Community gardening ‘increasingly popular in UK’

New data from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has found that getting to work with the garden tools is becoming an increasingly popular pastime with individuals up and down the country.

The gardening charity has seen a 30 per cent year-on-year increase in voluntary sign-ups to its biggest campaign – which is entitled Britain in Bloom.

This means that more than 300,000 individuals from all areas of the UK are now investing their time and effort into gardening for their community.

Britain in Bloom started way back in 1964 as a way of marketing the offerings of the country through attractive floral displays.

Since then, it has developed to become a national institution, which has very much managed to move with the times.

Indeed, its current focus is on the promotion of environmentally responsible practices – as well as its long-standing remit of bringing people closer together through the simple act of engaging in gardening work with one another.

Head of regional development for the RHS Andrea Van Sittart attributed the increased uptake in volunteer spots to the legacy of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

She said that the power of volunteering has become much more widely recognised and appreciated as a result of this major sporting event.

"More Britons are prepared to donate their time and energy to worthwhile projects and we feel this could have played a part in the rise in volunteers joining their local gardening groups or setting up their own," Ms Van Sittart remarked.

She added that growing numbers of people are also beginning to recognise that lending a helping hand in the neighbourhoods can have a very positive social impact.

"[It] can change lives and boost people's confidence, health and happiness," the expert commented, adding: "The Britain in Bloom campaign is making a difference and people want to be a part of that."

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