RHS elects first female president

Elizabeth Banks is the new president of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), making her the first woman to fill the role in the organisations 206-year history.

She has also made history as the first person to take the position with a professional background in horticulture.

With a quarter of a century in the industry spent working across three continents, Ms Banks brings a wealth of experience to the role.

She takes over from Giles Coode-Adams, who held the position since December 2008.

Ms Banks also has a long and happy history with the RHS – she has won five gold medals for gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show over the years and her husband Lawrence is also a vice-president of the organisation.

The appointment was made after an election at the RHS annual general meeting in Harlow Carr during which Sir Nicholas Bacon was elected as treasurer and three new members of council were also chosen.

Chelsea Physic Garden curator Rosie Atkins, soil scientist Peter Gregory and retired solicitor David Haselgrove have all joined the ranks of the RHS council.

Meanwhile, the organisation recently opened its new £3.3 million green education centre at Harlow Carr.