As we enter 2022, we once again are faced with an uncertain future. COVID-19 is impacting on all facets of our lives. Many of our members have pivotal roles in management of green spaces, food and ornamental production, research and education. We support our members in many different ways. We are now working in partnership with other like-minded organisations to form a collective voice to support the industry.
The recent Horticulturist journal contained articles that outlined the importance of horticulture to the health and wellbeing of the nation. From the use of green spaces for recreational use, as well as many community projects and courses, the value cannot be underestimated. We have been talking for some time to some of our members who work in this field, who have outlined the need for a forum to bring together like-minded people to share information. We have also met with some of the leading charities to investigate what is needed. 
In response to this we are in the process of setting up a specialist interest group: ‘Social and Therapeutic Horticulture’. The group will encompass all disciplines relating to health and well-being. We see this as the first of a number of specialist groups we can create within CIH. A separate subcommittee will be formed. The aim will not only be to bring people together, but also look at education and qualifications, arrange webinars and meetings for the benefit of members in this sector. You will shortly receive details of how you can get involved with the group.
The Annual General Meeting is scheduled to take place on Saturday 23rd April 2022 within the Harrogate Flower Show. Members will have the opportunity to visit the show after the AGM.
I am pleased to announce that the conference has been re-arranged for 5th & 6th October 2022. Hopefully this is third time lucky. It will be held, as previously planned in The Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. The committee are making preparations to engage with interesting and informative speakers, as well as arranging delegate visits.
Looking around the branches I am pleased to see that many events are being organised. The plans for Young Horticulturist of the Year competition 2022 are well under way.
For those interested in gaining chartership status, the first workshop will be taking place on 18th January. You can register on the website for this event.

I am cautiously optimistic that we are returning to a more normal existence. It has been, and will continue to be, a challenging time for us all. I am looking forward to face-to-face meetings with colleagues and members in 2022.

Susan Nicholas FCIHort