A COVETED accolade has been awarded to the team behind Coventry Univeristy’s ‘healthy gardeners’ showcase at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Coventry’s biomechanics experts – whose unique exhibit uses motion capture technology to show how gardening can be healthy – have won a bronze medal in the ‘discovery’ category, which focuses on the science behind growing plants.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges were not the only ones wowed by what they saw – academics Dr James Shippen and Dr Barbara May also met Her Majesty the Queen, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and HRH the Princess Royal.
The high-tech piece of kit, which is similar to gadgetry used in Hollywood to create characters like Gollum, is being showcased at the show this week as part of a collaboration with the RHS to research which tools and methods help gardeners improve their health.
Dr Shippen, from the university’s centre for mobility and transport, said: “It’s a great honour to have been recognised in this way by the Royal Horticultural Society’s judges.
“We arrived in the morning to find our award certificate on our stand, which was a lovely surprise.
“I don’t think many universities can boast a medal from the Chelsea Flower Show.
“We’ve had a wonderful time so far showing green-fingered guests of all ages how gardening can be good for you.
“We have also attracted interest from a number of industrial organisations including garden tool manufacturers, manual handling companies and horticultural magazines.
“I don’t anticipate any more visits from Her Majesty the Queen, but who knows – she did seem quite impressed with the work being done to promote gardening as a healthy activity.”