Coastal pebbles gathered for RHS Chelsea garden

Children from Flamborough Primary School have been helping Welcome to Yorkshire start work on their most ambitious Chelsea garden yet. The children are collecting pebbles from a Yorkshire beach to help recreate a genuine slice of the Yorkshire coast in the heart of the capital, as part of the garden’s design.

The collection, at Flamborough South Landing, marks the official start of preparations for the 2017 garden, named ‘Welcome to Yorkshire.’

Up to two tonnes of the unique pebbles found near Flamborough Head, are being ‘borrowed’ from South Landing, one of the locations that inspired this year’s garden, designed by Tracy Foster.

The pebbles will be returned to the beach at the end of the show. Permission had to be sought from Natural England, East Riding Council, the Crown Estate and the Marine Management Organisation, for the removal of the pebbles. Welcome to Yorkshire are also grateful for the advice provided by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the RNLI.

Experts from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s “Living Seas Centre” will be on hand to explain more about the area to pupils and emphasise the need for the pebbles to be carefully checked for tiny sea creatures during the collection.

The chalk pebbles are distinct as many have neat, cylindrical holes in them made by piddocks. The small mussel like sea creatures live on the lower shore and burrow into soft rocks like chalk.

Garden designer, Tracy Foster explains that the pebbles found on the beach at Flamorough are so unique that there is no way they can be replicated: “To make this year’s Welcome to Yorkshire Chelsea Show Garden truly authentic, and as wonderful as the coastline that inspired it, the best way is to literally take some genuine pieces of Yorkshire down to London,” she said.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, is delighted at the way the community are getting involved in the Chelsea garden and grateful to the children and staff at Flamborough Primary School for their help. For the children, it helps them learn more about the fantastic Yorkshire coastline.

Antony Hurd, manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Centre explains that the Yorkshire coast is truly spectacular and recognized internationally for its wildlife and marine environment: “It will be amazing to see a small corner of Yorkshire shoreline brought to life in the heart of London and we’re delighted that the garden build team have sought permission and will ensure the pebbles will be returned to the very same beach afterwards, where visitors can enjoy some of the best rock pooling around,” he said.

Welcome to Yorkshire is no stranger to RHS Chelsea – previously they have been awarded one Gold, five Silver and one Silver-Gilt medals and six People’s Choice Awards.


Picture credits: ©Welcome to Yorkshire

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