Clare Matterson CBE has been announced as the latest director general of the RHS.


Matterson joins the RHS from the Natural History Museum where she was executive director, engagement.

She takes up her role on 9 May, ahead of this year's Chelsea Flower Show.

Keith Weed CBE, President of the RHS, said: “We are very excited about the appointment of Clare as the next director general of the RHS.

RHS COP26 Garden at Chelsea 2021.

“The RHS has been leading the way championing the difference we can all make through gardens and growing plants to create positive change, mitigate against the climate and biodiversity crises and help our health and wellbeing – these are topics that Clare is also passionate about and throughout her career she has believed in connecting people with nature. We have 200 years of gardening knowledge at the RHS and more than anything we love sharing everything we’ve learnt to help people garden and enjoy gardens.

“With Clare’s vision, leadership and creativity, I’m looking forward to everyone at the RHS working together to make the charity an even bigger force for good in gardening and helping the planet through people and plants.”

Matterson has been a keen gardener and member of the RHS for nearly 30 years and believes gardening has the power to foster an important connection to the natural world, giving everyone the chance to learn from nature whether from their own plot, a community garden or a simple window box.

Matterson, who was awarded her CBE for services to public engagement in science, said: “It is both an honour and a joy to be the next DG of the RHS.

“The RHS is an organisation that matters and can make a real difference to the world. Gardens have such a huge role to play to shape a more positive future. It is in our gardens that we find answers for people and planet, for community, for inclusion and for wellbeing.

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“I’m delighted to be the person who will lead the RHS to show how through our gardens and plants, however big or small, urban or rural, we can all have a direct experience and connection with nature."


Clare will begin with the RHS on 9 May for a period of transition with the current Director General, Sue Biggs, before taking over as Director General on Tuesday 14 June at the RHS Annual General Meeting. The RHS thanks Sue for all she has done for the charity over her 11 years as director general.


Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London