Firstly, a very happy and healthy new year to you all. I hope you had time for some rest and are recharged for the year ahead – I was lucky to have an extended break and saw Christmas at Kew, and the snowman trail at Hillsborough Castle – wonderful gardens excellently cared for by horticulturists… and always inspiring even in the seemingly constant rain in Northern Ireland.

I have some homework to do on catching up on our excellent series of Social Media Sessions, something for the gloomy January evenings…and time to use those photos I constantly take on my phone to better purpose….

Looking forward to the year ahead I hope you are planning to attend the regional heats of the Young Horticulturist of the Year – it’s great fun, it really tests your knowledge and the encouragement and development of new talent into our industry has real purpose.

We are planning our conference and 40th year Anniversary events, celebrating our success and also developing and expanding membership.

All good wishes for 2024.

David Richardson CHort FCIHort