Encouraging community pride, protecting the environment and career tips and advice will be the focus of a virtual event bringing together local horticultural experts.
On Friday 21st May, Trudy Harrison MP will host a Facebook Live event with local garden, florist and nature specialists discussing a range of topics including how communities can enhance their local areas, environmental issues, and career journeys, as well as providing guidance on how to kickstart a blossoming career in the sector.
The local MP will be joined by florist, Lisa Robson from Jean’s Flower Boutique in Whitehaven, Senior National Trust gardener, Heather Birkertt, Peter Frost-Pennington of Muncaster Castle, Liz Auld of Cumbria Bloom and Cody Smith, a keen young gardener and business owner who recently appeared on BBC’s Gardeners World.
The event will be live steamed from the MP’s Facebook page between 1:00-2:00pm.
Trudy said: “I’m really excited to be bringing together local specialists later this month to help provide information on a diverse range of subjects in the horticultural sector.
“Lockdown highlighted just how important access to nature is with many of our local parks and green spaces experiencing unprecedented demand during warmer days and, this week, as we mark Mental Health Awareness Week, we must remember the vital role that gardens and outdoor spaces played – and continue to play – on our physical, mental health and wellbeing.
“As we look to build back better, levelling up access to nature and green space should be at the heart of our recovery unlocking benefits for health, nature and local communities.”
Earlier this month, Trudy celebrated National Gardeners Week, the country’s biggest annual celebration of gardening, joining a live Q&A session with specialist National Trust gardeners
The call focused on gardening tips, as well as discussions around banning on the use of peat in compost.
The Government introduced a voluntary target for amateur gardeners to phase out the use of peat by 2020, and a final voluntary phase-out target of 2030 for professional growers of fruit, vegetables and plants.
Healthy peatlands trap carbon helping to tackle climate change. They also play an important role in preventing flooding, and host an array of plant and animal life. Charities warn that peatlands lose these functions if the peat is damaged, for example by being dug up and removed for sale, and emit carbon instead.
A Defra spokesperson said: “We are committed to phasing out the use of peat in horticulture in England by 2030, and are looking at how legislation can achieve this. We urge all gardeners to play their part and only use peat-free products.
“We are investing £10m to improve the condition of our peatlands as part of our commitment to protecting and restoring this precious habitat - cementing the UK’s position as a world leader in environmental biodiversity.”
Last month, Government launched The Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme (NCPGS) providing funding to restore peatlands in the uplands and lowlands of England.
The grant scheme will run until 2025 and is open to environmental groups, local authorities, charities, public bodies, individual landowners and organisations.