Sue Biggs CBE will retire as Director General of The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in June 2022.
Over the past 11 years Sue has modernised and grown the RHS, and leaves a much stronger charity, with record membership numbers, that is more inclusive and broader based, as well as being more financially robust.
During her time leading the RHS, Sue has championed improvements in the gardens, flower shows, community initiatives and educational programmes, raised standards of horticulture and science and helped inspire gardeners and young horticultural professionals alike.
She has also been pivotal in creating and executing the Strategic Investment Programme across the gardens, most notably the opening of RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford and the nationally significant new Home of Gardening Science at RHS Garden Wisley.
Keith Weed, President of the RHS, says: “We on the Society’s Council thank Sue for all her hard work, dedication and achievements during her time at the RHS. The last 18 months has seen Sue lead the organisation at a difficult time during the pandemic where the organisation has continued to progress despite the many challenges.”
Before her time with the RHS, Sue Biggs was Managing Director of Kuoni Travel where she worked for 25 years. She commented: “With gardening and travel being my two greatest passions, I feel extremely lucky that my career has been spent in the travel business, followed by 11 years working in horticulture here at the RHS.
“I’m extremely proud of everything we have achieved over the last decade, and without Council, the Leadership Team and the incredible teams, volunteers and people across the RHS, as well as our generous supporters, it simply would not have been possible to make such deep rooted changes. To leave this wonderful charity after the creation of the amazing RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford and after bringing our science work to the fore with Wisley Hilltop– The Home of Gardening Science, makes me very happy to know that future generations will benefit from both for decades to come.”
Sue has raised awareness and helped improve standards in the horticulture industry, chairing the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable since its inception and working with government. In March 2017 she was recognised with a CBE for her services to horticulture and the environment.
The recruitment process for a new Director General for the RHS will now begin to enable a well-managed handover.
Keith finishes: “Thanks to Sue and the hard work of the teams and the gardening boom, the RHS is currently thriving and is in a great place for someone new to take the helm and set the new strategy to grow even more, further building inclusion, increasing our work around sustainability and engaging and supporting the UK’s 30 million gardeners to grow more plants for the nation’s health and the environment.
“We will miss Sue when she leaves, but there is still plenty of time to celebrate her achievements with us before she steps down in June next year.”