YPHA unveils Launch Success at the Eden Project

The Eden Project had invited members of the Young People in Horticulture Association for a behind the scenes visit to the famous Cornwall biomes. 

The morning was devoted to a tour of the nursery, the grounds and the geothermal heating plant, led by Catherine Cutler, Head of Horticulture. 

In the afternoon members were given guided tours of the Tropical and Mediterranean biomes, by the teams looking after them. 

40 of the now 850 strong group were lucky enough to make the visit.  Boyd Douglas-Davies an ambassador to the YPHA described it as a “Full on learning experience and I mean FULL on! There before 9 and didn't leave until 5.30pm and the Eden team packed so much content in. The talking did not stop at any point in the day,”

Sustainability – How Eden goes further

In a  lunchtime talk, energy and sustainability manager, Charles Sainsbury explained that sustainability merely means maintaining the status quo. 

Eden goes one step further, focusing on regenerative sustainability. Eden is about taking the steps to be carbon positive by 2030.  It's not about telling people about being sustainable but about leading by example.

Members saw Eden growing its own food in the nursery, the geothermal energy plant and its electric fleet of vehicles. The Eden Project even makes its own bio char and returns it to the soil.


Boyd Douglas-Davies could see the confidence of the young people blossom as they shared their experiences with the growers and horticulturalists at the Eden Project.

But many had to make big sacrifices to attend the day. One had travelled overnight from the north of England on three different buses, another had made a similar journey by train making seven changes.

Several had to take a day or two of holiday because their employers would not give them time for this inspirational study day.  Others were prevented from coming at all because they could not get the time off.

Boyd said, “Great to learn that many there were being supported by their companies but equally frustrating to still hear of so many having to take holiday days to travel and spend time learning.”

Launch Success

The YPHA used the occasion to publicise its new accelerator programme for up to 10 members a year. The scheme will be open to applicants from March 1st.

Launch Success is a 2 year programme where participants will take a plant or a product to market.  This year it's a begonia. 

Through a series of master classes, sponsored by companies within the industry.  They will take a nameless yong plant on a nursery in Holland through to a finished branded product in production on a UK nursery.  The final stage will be sales, with contestants pitching the named and branded Begonia to buyers at British Garden Centres prior to launch at BBC Gardeners World Live 2025.

A measure of the day’s success was that 9 members of the Eden Project signed up to the YPHA.

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