Chelsea gold for ‘Food for the Future’ exhibit
Researchers from The University of Nottingham's School of Biosciences won a Gold Medal at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The exhibit was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and won the Best RHS Environment Exhibit Award.
The University's exhibit, Food for the Future, showcases the latest plant and crop research to ensure that everyone has access to affordable and nutritious food - an area known as global food security.
Dr Sean Mayes said: "Obviously we are delighted to be awarded the Gold - it shows that the judges have appreciated what we are trying to do to communicate our research to the general public by putting the science into plain English.
"It's my first time at Chelsea and it's quite an eye opening experience. We have met lots of people and visitors to our stand have been so enthusiastic and interested in learning more about the work we are doing at Nottingham."
Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh presented the University team, which also included Dr Katie Mayes and Saoirse Tracy, with their Gold Medal.
David Hazelgrove, RHS Council member and a member of the judging panel, said: "The stand relayed a very important message in a clear and easily accessible means for the public and people will take something away from their visit to the show. So many stands are either overcrowded or don't put enough up and getting the balance right is very important."
The Food for the Future exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to talk to leading Nottingham researchers and find out what they are doing to secure food for the future. People visiting the stand will also be able to see some of the alternative crops which researchers at the University are already investigating, which may be needed in the future to help overcome some major challenges around food production and the environment.
Professor Neil Crout, head of the School of Biosciences, said: "Achieving global food security is the one of the most pressing issues facing the world today. Through sustained research our work is focused on developing crops that will feed our growing world population, using fewer of the earth's precious resources. This project is an excellent opportunity to showcase the School of Biosciences significant contribution to ensuring food for the future.
"Once solutions are identified, scientists can produce new varieties of existing crops, or potentially introduce entirely new crops. Food for the Future is an introduction to some of Nottingham's ongoing work to achieve this."
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from May 21st to 25th.
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