Ex-Blue Peter gardener to dig in for Ryton organic team

Chris Collins is joining the Garden Organic team NNL-160807-120013001
Chris Collins is joining the Garden Organic team NNL-160807-120013001
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Former BBC Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins is joining the Garden Organic team at Ryton Organic Gardens.

He will join as head of organic horticulture in September to be the voice of the charity, raising awareness of its work and the importance of organic and sustainable growing.

He held the highly sought-after position of BBC Blue Peter Gardener for nine years, during which he was involved in the relocation of the garden from London to Media City in Manchester.

Other career highlights include training at the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh, working in Cameroon at the oldest botanical gardens in Africa, a spell in Japan, higher botanical horticulturalist at Kew Gardens and head gardener at Westminster Abbey.

He said: “I am a passionate believer in organic horticulture, not only for the environmental benefits it offers, but also for the role it can play in people’s social and spiritual wellbeing.

“Garden Organic’s principles and practices provide the perfect vehicle to engage people in this valuable subject.

“I trust the 30 plus years I have been a professional horticulturalist will play a pivotal role in promoting the important work of the members and staff of the charity.”

Garden Organic’s chief executive James Campbell, said: “With more and more of our population concerned about the chemical pesticides and herbicides we encounter every day, our charity needs to support people now more than ever in discovering that there is a better way – and we’re confident Chris is the perfect person to help us deliver this message.”

As well as raising awareness of the charity’s work, Chris will also have an input into the redesign of the demonstration gardens at the Ryton HQ.