The Royal Horticultural Society have announced that all their shows from April until July have been cancelled in light of COVID-19.
What Shows have the RHS cancelled?
April 7 – 8: RHS London Spring Launch and Orchid Show
April 17 – 18: RHS London Botanical Art and Photography Show
April 17 – 19: RHS Flower Show Cardiff
May 7 – 10: RHS Malvern Spring Festival
May 19 – 23: RHS Chelsea Flower Show
June 11 – 14: RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
June 26 – 28: RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show (although this may be moved to July – to be announced)
In a statement the RHS said:
“Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and ongoing situation with COVID-19, all RHS Shows, Garden Events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June 2020. RHS Gardens remain open, with a number of increased precautionary measures in place.
This is a worldwide unprecedented and challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of our members, visitors, exhibitors and staff remains our number one priority.
With the Government no longer supporting mass gathering events due to the impact on emergency services and heightened actions to encourage social distancing.
We will contact everyone who has purchased a ticket and everyone will have the option of a full refund back within 21 days. Please therefore do not contact us immediately, except in an emergency, so that we can continue to handle this situation as swiftly as possible.
We will be contacting everyone involved in the Shows about the cancellation of these events. One of the many reasons why we cannot postpone any of these large events to later in the year is that most of the thousands of plants grown for these shows are chosen because they are at their best in spring.
We know this will be very sad and disappointing news for all involved with our shows, as well as for our members and visitors who have purchased tickets and enjoy our shows every year. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and following advice and guidelines set by Government.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, says;
“In these unprecedented challenging times we have carefully followed Government advice and made difficult, responsible decisions with the health and safety of people at the foremost of our minds.
“Our RHS Shows are vitally important platforms for the horticultural industry, and we are especially aware of the impact of cancelling these events on everyone involved. We will be doing all we can to help growers and nurseries to sell the plants they will have grown for the cancelled shows.
“As with everyone, we have no crystal ball, but for the time being we are planning our Summer Flower Shows and our Gardens remain open, as they are large outside spaces where people can escape in open space and benefit from some tranquillity and beauty, surrounded by nature – all things that are much needed during these unsettling times.
“Things of course may change, but whatever decisions we make, safety will be utmost in our mind and we will, like the rest of the world, be monitoring the situation closely.”
The future of other RHS events in July and beyond are yet to be announced.