Young Herb Photographers of the Year Announced

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Vitacress – the UK’s leading fresh herb producer - have announced the winners of the RHS Young Herb Photographers of the Year competition.

Run through the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and sponsored by Vitacress, the competition invites children aged 5-17 to capture photographs of living herbs growing in the wild, garden or a setting of their choice.

This year there were more than 400 entries and after much deliberation, a judging panel made up of experts from the RHS, Vitacress and Jason Ingram, Garden Media Guild Photographer of the Year 2014, selected the following winners. The winner of each age category received an iPad Air and £500 of gardening vouchers for their school. The runners up received an iPad mini and £250 of gardening vouchers for their school.

5 to 10 age category

Winner: Alex McAllister (8), Fairview Primary School, Ballyclere

Winner aged 5-10: Alex McAllister (8), Fairview Primary School, BallyclereWinner aged 5-10: Alex McAllister (8), Fairview Primary School, Ballyclere

Runner-up: Arvo Rutherford (6), Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Temple Grove Primary Free School, London

Runner up aged 5-10: Arvo Rutherford (6), Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Temple Grove Primary Free School, London

11 to 17 age category:

Winner: William Lindsay-Perez (14), Redland Green School, Bristol

Winner aged 11-17: Winner: William Lindsay-Perez (14), Redland Green School, Bristol

Runner-up: Shannon Wright, (13), Garnock Academy, North Ayrshire

Runner up aged 11-17: Shannon Wright, (13), Garnock Academy, North Ayrshire

Chris Moncrieff, herbs production director from Vitacress and one of the judges said: “This is a fantastic initiative for getting children engaged with nature and more familiar with the wide variety of different herbs.”

Martin Page, another judge of the competition and school projects coordinator from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening added: “The standard this year has been really high and we have had some truly beautiful images. We certainly think there are definitely some budding photographers and horticulturalists in the making!”

Vitacress is the UK’s largest grower and supplier of fresh herbs for the UK retail market. It supplies more than 16 million fresh living potted herbs each year and more than 23 million packs of fresh cut and bunched herbs per year. The company offers a core range of nine herbs grown in pots and 16 different cut herbs, ranging from popular herbs used in everyday cooking such as coriander, basil, mint and rosemary, through to more specialist herbs such as lemon grass and lime leaves. Vitacress’ herb nursery is based in West Sussex.

The RHS Young Herb Photographer of the Year competition is part of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, which is now inspiring and supporting more than 22,000 schools across the UK with their gardening activities. RHS research has shown that gardening can help children develop by teaching them life skills and improving their wellbeing.