Three Peaks Extreme team rides again for Go Green for HortAid 1 – 14 September 2015

Activity to support Perennial’s Go Green fundraising fortnight (1 – 14 September 2015) has been boosted by news that the Three Peaks Extreme (3PE) team, which raised over £26,000 for the charity in 2013, will be re-forming for the London to Brighton cycle ride on Sunday 6 September.

In addition, members of Perennial’s ‘Grubby Gardeners’ fundraising team including trainee garden designer Claire Vokins, RHS Wisley trainee Jamie Butterworth, Head Gardener and Garden Designer David Lewis and Head Gardener Andrew Wain are planning to ride a 7-seater bike in the same event. They need one more rider to complete the team – contact @CEVokins via Twitter for info.

This popular charity ride, which takes place over 54 miles between Clapham Common and Brighton waterfront, will feature Perennial cyclists for the first time this year. All are raising valuable funds for the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping horticulturists in times of crisis.

Matt O’Conner, Managing Director of John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance and the coordinator of the 3PE team’s London to Brighton cycle, said,

“We always said we’d like to follow our epic Three Peaks Extreme challenge with further fundraising events for Perennial and this seemed like a great opportunity to get some of the lads back together and in training for another big event next year. We are a cross-industry team and can all appreciate the invaluable service Perennial offers us and colleagues across UK horticulture. We have a £2,000 team target and less than a month to prepare, but we’re all definitely up for the #GoGreen challenge.”

Joining Matt from the 3PE team will be Darren Skidmore, co-owner of Skidmores of Hertford, Paul Downer, MD of Oakview Landscapes and Vice-Chair of BALI, James Downer (Paul’s son), Brian Herbert, MD of Outdoor Options, Richard Gardiner, MD of Norris & Gardiner (now part of Gavin Jones Group), Jim Brasier, of Jim Brasier Landscapes, Mark Gregory, MD of Landform Consultants, Chair of the APL and Perennial Partner Ambassador and Dan Riddleston, MD of Bowles & Wyers Contracts Ltd. You can donate by visiting their JustGiving fundraising page at

Other confirmed Go Green activity includes:

  • A team is entering the Nuts Challenge on 5 September – participants include Shaw Pye of Boningdale Nurseries (formerly BALI) and Claire Vokins, Croydon based trainee garden designer. Deadline for entering is 20 August.
  • Buckland Nurseries in Dorking, Surrey and Ansell Garden Centre in West Drayton, Middlesex, selling Perennial wristbands during the fortnight.

Anita Bates, Director of Marketing and Development, said;

“It’s fantastic that our Go Green fundraising fortnight is already inspiring supporters to go the extra mile for Perennial this September. Perennial is the only UK charity dedicated to helping people working in or retired from horticulture when the going gets tough. The charity relies on the support of the horticulture industry and all those who love gardens and green spaces to support us, fundraise for us and help spread the word about our life-changing services.”

Perennial has been counting down the days to Go Green with an Alphabet of Antics for All Abilities via its Twitter and Facebook social media accounts. You can also download the Go Green for HortAid 2015 fundraising ideas pack at

Anything goes in Go Green fortnight but if you would prefer to join an organized event rather than hold your own, Perennial has some cracking challenge events lined up with places still available.

5 September: Summer Nuts Challenge

Set at Swires Farm in Dorking, the legendary Nuts Challenge course has more than 100 obstacles over a 7km course.

Registration Fee: £44.99 | Pledge to raise £100 in sponsorship

Deadline to register: 20 August

6 September: London to Brighton cycle ride

Tackle one of the UK’s most famous cycle routes and raise money along the way! Starting on Clapham Common, riders take in Mitcham, Carshalton, Chipstead, Banstead, Haywards Heath and finally arrive in Brighton having completed 54 miles!

Registration fee: £40 | Minimum sponsorship: £100

Deadline to register: 30 August

Anytime: Skydiving

Intrepid Perennial thrill-seekers leapt out of an aeroplane on 2 May 2015 to raise over £4,200 for Perennial! Other dates re available – just email the HortAid team or details.

Perennial’s wide-ranging benevolent services are regularly described by clients simply as a ‘lifeline’ – over 85% of clients say that Perennial’s help had a ‘huge’ or ‘quite big’ effect on their lives – but without the financial support of the UK horticulture industry, their long-term continuation is threatened.

There are plenty of ways to get involved with HortAid 2015, whether you are an individual who loves gardens or a horticulture business keen to raise funds to help colleagues around the industry. Go Green for HortAid 2015 and help change the life of someone in crisis. Visit, download a fundraising pack for ideas and information or call the team on 0800 093 8510.


For further information, images or to arrange interviews, please contact Jennie Spears or Clare Johnson at Bloom PR & Communications:

Jennie | 07944 55634 |

Clare | 07815 041635 |


About Perennial

Established in 1839, The Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Fund, or Perennial as it is now known, helps everyone working in and retired from horticulture, including landscapers, gardeners, garden designers, green keepers, tree surgeons, groundsmen, seed and turf growers, those involved in intensive production horticulture, parks and gardens staff and many more, and their families during times of crisis. The charity provides a range of support to people experiencing hardship whether through debt, illness, disability or old age. In the current economic climate this help is needed more than it ever was; in 2014 Perennial assisted its clients in accessing nearly £1.5m in direct financial help.

All of Perennial’s funds come from the generosity of the horticulture trade and the garden-loving public. To find out more about the work of Perennial and ways to get involved with fundraising during 2015, please visit, email or call one of the team on 0800 093 8510.


To keep up to date with the latest news, follow Perennial on Twitter: @PerennialGRBS and like Perennial on facebook.