The Chelsea Flower Show is in danger of becoming “little more than a wistful memory” unless young people begin to show a greater interest in horticulture, Alan Titchmarsh has warned.
The gardener and television presenter said young people grow up idolising celebrities, such as band One Direction and actor Daniel Craig, and do not consider a future in horticulture because little is done from within to champion the industry.
He said: “There is much to learn and, as anyone who has been involved with horticulture will tell you, it can be tremendously challenging.
“And yet our role is undervalued by government, by the population and by young people in particular – in every instance because they just do not understand the breadth of what we do and its importance in terms of the wellbeing of the planet and its population.”
The star cited a recent survey which showed 70 per cent of horticulture businesses could not fill skilled vacancies, with another 90 per cent of survey respondents saying the industry “lacks career appeal”.
He said: “If this situation continues, British horticulture will dwindle and become a pale shadow of its former self, and the Chelsea Flower Show little more than a wistful memory.”