The heat is on as university starts search for UK’s first garden water scientist

Jul 28, 2018

This year’s summer is expected to be the driest on record. This new role responds to climatic changes that are resulting in more extreme weather events and aims to better prepare the UK’s 27 million gardeners for periods of drought and flood which put pressure on plants, people and wildlife.

The water scientist will explore ways to improve water provision in gardens by adopting new technologies, developing management strategies and encouraging behavioural change among gardeners. 

Professor Paul Jeffrey, head of Cranfield Water Science Institute, said:  “As water resources come under additional strain, both farmers and gardeners will need to change their behaviours and make better use of new scientific understandings and innovations.

“Cranfield is working with the RHS to generate new insights into water efficient practices and is supporting the implementation of a suite innovative, cost effective, impactful water management technologies and methodologies.”

RHS director of science Alistair Griffiths said: “Climate change is resulting in more frequent hot and dry spells and are projected to increase in the coming years. This could lead to less water being freely available in the growing season to support optimum growth so it’s important we look at how we can maintain our gardens, and the wildlife they support, for the future.”

The water scientist will be based at RHS Garden Wisley where a new Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning will open in 2020.

Applications for the garden water scientist post are open until midnight on July 31. 

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