Penguin and Peter Rabbit help kids celebrate nature this summer with new campaign

Penguin Random House UK and its Peter Rabbit team has launched a new annual campaign aimed at encouraging children and their carers to enjoy being creative in nature this summer.

The Peter Rabbit: Friend to Nature campaign has also tapped the popular lifestyle blogger, Laura Brand as its ambassador to create and present a series of filmed tutorials on the Peter Rabbit website. The nature-filled activities will be shared every Friday in July to inspire parents to enjoy the outdoors with their kids.

The weekly content series is based around themes of nature and friendship and will run throughout the month culminating on International Friendship Day on July 30th.

Brand said: “I grew up with the stories of Beatrix Potter and have loved introducing my two daughters to the world of Peter Rabbit. We have had so much fun creating a series of nature activities for families to enjoy together in the garden or out on a nature walk.

“These ideas are all inspired by Peter Rabbit and the mischievous adventures that he has with his friends and I hope families will enjoy them as much as we have.”

In addition, a series of classroom activities and learning resources have been developed for KS1 school children with Puffin. These will be hosted online and mailed to 37K primary teachers in the UK and made available to key English language-speaking territories.

Izzy Richardson, director owned brands at Penguin Random House, added: “During her lifetime, Beatrix Potter was a pioneering conservationist who was passionate about the natural world. So who better than Peter Rabbit to champion the joy that spending time in nature can bring?

“Peter has an authentic connection to nature and this mid-year campaign will enable us to reach families with meaningful and engaging content beyond Easter. Friend to Nature is perfectly timed to drive awareness of our newly relaunched website, the first in a refresh of all of our Peter Rabbit digital platforms.”

Peter Rabbit: Friend to Nature will launch on Friday, July 9th with new tutorials uploaded every Friday throughout July.

Scholastic UK celebrates RHS children’s books launch with kids’ gardening competition

Scholastic UK and the Royal Horticultural Society have launched a new series of illustrated activity books for children. Aimed at encouraging readers to explore and enjoy nature outdoors, the books have been inspired by RHS gardens across the country.

The first three titles in the series were launched in the spring and include The Outdoor Adventure Handbook, which looks at discovering plants and wildlife and getting closer to nature, with activities for all weathers. Further books in the series will follow in autumn 2021 and beyond.

To celebrate the release of the first titles, Scholastic UK has also launched a nationwide gardening competition, encouraging children to create their own unique garden designs. The competition kicked off in June and will run for four months, welcoming all sizes of garden design, ranging from miniature gardens in a tray or a garden pot, to a space in a back garden, community garden, or allotment. 

The competition runs until September 30th 2021 and is open to all children aged seven to 12. The judges will include gardeners from the RHS.

The prize for first place will include a VIP guided tour of RHS Garden Wisley, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science. RHS Hilltop is the UK’s first dedicated centre of excellence for horticultural research, which helps to protect the future of plants, people and the planet.

The prize winner will also receive a full set of RHS/ Scholastic publishing and a selection of RHS licensed products to encourage their future gardening efforts. 

Cathy Snow, licensing manager, RHS, said: “The RHS is extremely excited to be involved with the judging of this competition and to provide a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of RHS Garden Wisley as part of the prize. We hope as many young people as possible will take on this design challenge and think creatively about designing a garden to suit their space at home – no matter the size of the space they have or whether it is indoors or outside.”

The Scholastic UK partnership has been curated at a time in which social restrictions have seen parents and families spending more time outside in gardens and parks. According to a survey carried out by the RHS last year, time spent gardening has increased 149 per cent, while 60 per cent of people with an outdoor space felt that having a garden helped their physical health during lockdown.

Matthew Pottage, Curator, RHS Garden Wisley, added: “My passion for gardening and growing plants started at an early age in my parents’ garden and developed into an amazing horticultural career with the RHS. I’d love this competition to inspire young people to get involved and share in my love of gardening. I’d encourage them to enter the competition – no matter what their ability or space – to be creative and to marvel at the wonder of the natural world around them.” 

Elizabeth Scoggins, publisher non-fiction, brands and licensing, Scholastic UK, concluded: “Gardens and gardening have been more important than ever to our wellbeing in recent months and few gardens are as well-loved as the five RHS gardens that are among this country’s greatest horticultural achievements. They have been an ideal inspiration both for our new range of books and for this competition, which will, we believe, attract and delight children all over the UK.”

The RHS endorses new range from Original Muck Boot Company as it targets the 18 to 35 year old market

The Royal Horticultural Society has thrown its weight behind a new range of footwear from the premium boots maker and long-standing RHS partner, The Original Muck Boot Company.

The new RHS-endorsed range, called Outscape, is a new concept in footwear that offers a modern look with the performance of a trainer, but with the waterproof and durable protection found in all Muck ranges.

Available in two different heights – ankle boots and low shoes – for all genders, Outscape shoes and short boots are billed as ‘ideal for active outdoor work and exploration.’ The range features a Dual Density footbed, as well as a ‘shovel-ready nylon shank for under-foot stability when using garden tools.’

The target market for the range is 18 to 35 year old aspirational, motivated men and women who love animals, travel, and the land. However, the appeal of the shoes and boots is expected to extend to anyone who appreciates durable, comfortable outdoor footwear.

The Original Muck Boot Company was formed in 1999 to provide 100 per cent waterproof boots and footwear that withstand the muckiest situations in every season. Its ranges include a wide selection of multi-purpose gardening boots and shoes endorsed by the RHS since 2016.

Eleanor Cornwell, EMEA marketing lead, The Original Muck Boot Company, said: “Performance and versatility are key when on-the-go and we believe our Outscape ranges perfectly meet the needs of many gardeners and walkers for a waterproof boot with the comfort of a lightweight trainer. We’re delighted that the RHS agrees with us and thrilled to have the endorsement of Britain’s favourite gardening charity.”

Shereen Llewellin, licensing executive, RHS, added: “There are many makers of outdoor footwear but few that meet the exacting standards demanded by RHS supporters for gardening, dog walking and rambling that have become especially popular in the past year.

“The Original Muck Boot Company understands this market better than almost anyone – and we are delighted to endorse the comfortable and durable Outscape range.”

The RHS partners UK gardening experts Woodlodge Products for outdoor pots

The Royal Horticultural Society has named Woodlodge Products its UK licensing partner for a range of outdoor pots, one of the gardening brand’s key categories.

Under the new deal, Woodlodge Products – a UK supplier of garden pots and gardenware – will launch its first products to retailers for pre-order in September this year. They will be distributed to retail outlets from January 2020.

While the partnership is still in its early stages, Woodlodge is already making preliminary plans for the first range and will include both classic and modern designs and a full selection of sizes to accomodate any outdoor space. The final version of the first range will incorporate standard terracotta, glazed, and fibre clay pots.

For the design process, Woodlodge will have access to the whole range of RHS design assets, including its style guides and artwork from the RHS Lindley Collections, the world’s finest collection of botanical art.

All product will either be embossed or debossed with the RHS logo, creating consumer confidence at point of purchase.

 Woodlodge boasts more than 1,500 garden centre accounts located throughout the UK and Ireland, all of which will be the primary focus for the new range. The firm also has a history of creating innovative products and eye-catching in-store merchandising so the launch of the new RHS-endorsed range is eagerly anticipated by both retailers and customers.

2020 saw a steep upswing in the gardening sector, with the pandemic introducing a new range of customers to the hobby from across the age spectrum and social demographic. A number of these are discovering not only the benefits of being outside, but the benefits of gardening to physical and mental health at a particularly demanding and stressful time.

The RHS ranges will therefore target all members of this fast-expanding group of budding gardeners, who have embraced nature during the lockdowns.

Michael Wooldridge, managing director, Woodlodge Products, said: “As the market-leading supplier of garden pottery in the UK, it’s important for us to work with brands and partners that have a strong resonance for gardeners. To be associated with the RHS, a charity that aims to inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants and promotes the physical and mental advantages of gardening, is, for Woodlodge, a natural fit.

“The RHS is a highly regarded and recognisable brand and will offer consumers both peace of mind and confidence when buying our range of products.”

Cathy Snow, licensing manager, RHS, added: “Our members and supporters are, not surprisingly, keen to have the highest-quality products in their gardens and outdoor pots are a very important category for the RHS.

“We are therefore delighted to be working with Woodlodge, which has always maintained high levels of quality and service while providing continual innovation and style to all its ranges.”