Posted: January 1, 1970

A green-fingered STS student is in the running to be named the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Young School Gardener of the Year 2017, supported by Gabriel Ash.

Tom Treves, 14, is competing in the 11-14 year-old age category of the national competition, which aims to unearth the next generation of star gardeners.  

Tom is battling against three other youngsters to win his age category and be put forward to compete for the ultimate title in school gardening.

Both the category and the overall winner will be announced at a special awards ceremony at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey in July.

STS science teacher Sarah-Jayne Benfield, who nominated Tom said: “Tom is a remarkable young man who has been involved in the school’s gardening project for more than two years. Together with the school’s gardening club Tom worked tirelessly to help us secure the 2017 Kent and Medway ‘Green School of the Year’ award.

“Tom has a passion for gardening and science and always goes the extra mile. He’s even sold a glut of vegetables that the school grew to a local farm shop and used the money to buy more seeds for the school garden.

“Tom is everything a young gardener should be, he’s keen to learn from others and more than willing to put the work in. He is a worthy contender for the RHS title.”

In June a panel of gardening experts including BBC Gardeners’ World and ITV’s Love Your Garden presenter Frances Tophill will judge the entries and pick the category winners.

As part of the judging process Tom and the other finalists will create a five-minute video showcasing their passion for gardening. The film will include supportive statements from teachers and fellow pupils about the finalists’ love of gardening. Tom will receive a digital camera to make his short film which he can keep.

To mark Tom’s progress to the final he will be presented with a specially engraved hand trowel and framed certificate.  The school will receive gardening equipment worth £475 donated by greenhouse manufacturer and competition supporter Gabriel Ash and a £10 National Garden Gift voucher.

On top of the finalist prizes, the category winner will receive an engraved hand trowel, a set of gardening tools and £250 worth of National Garden Gift vouchers for their school.

Should Tom win the overall title and be crowned RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2017, he will have the opportunity to spend the day working with RHS gardeners, receive tickets for either the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018, or RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 2018. The school will receive £100 worth of seeds and an additional £250 in National Garden Gift vouchers – making a total of £500 in vouchers.

All winners and finalists, and two of their guests, will be invited to the prize-giving ceremony at RHS Garden Wisley.

Other age-groups represented in the competition are: 5 – 7, 7 – 11 and 14 – 16. The contest also includes categories to identify a School Gardening Team and School Gardening Champion of the year.