With this summer set to be one of the driest on record, the RHS has announced it is collaborating with Cranfield University to recruit and train the UK’s first garden water scientist.
This new role responds to climactic changes that are resulting in more extreme weather events and aims to better prepare the country’s 27 million gardeners for periods of drought and flood which put pressure on plants, people and wildlife.
The water scientist will explore ways to improve water provision in gardens by adopting new technologies, developing management strategies and encouraging behavioural change among gardeners.
Director of Science and Collections at the RHS, Prof. Alistair Griffiths said: “Climate change is resulting in more frequent hot and dry spells and are projected to increase in the coming years.
“This could lead to less water being freely available in the growing season to support optimum growth so it’s important we look at how we can maintain our gardens, and the wildlife they support, for the future.”
Head of Cranfield Water Science Institute, Prof. Paul Jeffrey said: “As water resources come under additional strain both farmers and gardeners will need to change their behaviours and make better use of new scientific understandings and innovations.
“Cranfield is working with the RHS to generate new insights into water efficient practices and is supporting the implementation of a suite innovative, cost effective, impactful water management technologies and methodologies.”
The water scientist will be based at RHS Garden Wisley where a new Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning will open in 2020. More information about the role is available here. Applications are open until 31 July 2018.