Start Day: a family fun day to inspire sustainable living

Start Day will be the first time that HRH The Prince of Wales has opened the garden of his London residence to the public for free.

Start, an initiative by HRH The Prince of Wales to inspire the UK public to take simple steps towards achieving more sustainable living, has announced that on Sunday 31st July The Mall, Clarence House Garden and Lancaster House Garden will host an inspirational, interactive and innovative family fun day.

Start Day will be the first time that HRH The Prince of Wales has opened the garden of his London residence to the public for free and takes place alongside two other events – the Bridgestone Eco-Rally and exhibition, and a sustainable restaurant and bar.

Joey Tabone, CEO of Start says: “There’s something for everyone on Start Day, whether it’s greener transport options, turning your roof into a garden, growing your own veg, or even electric GoKarting – it’s all about inspiring and entertaining people to take simple steps to a more sustainable lifestyle. We hope to show such a variety of ideas that everyone will be inspired to do at least one thing differently in their own lives.”

The three events are as follows:

An Open Garden Day at Clarence House (10am-6pm)
Clarence House gardens will be the setting for an inspiring Start experience that brings together a variety of thought provoking ideas on the future of gardening and growing.

Highlights include:

The ‘Forest Garden’ created by Petherick Urquhart and Hunt
Following on from the stunning and creative ‘Future Cities Garden’ that Tom Petherick, Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt created for Start in 2010, this year they will return with a brand new installation inspired by one of the most sustainable environments on Earth, the Forest. The Forest Garden, is a way of growing edible and useful plants sustainably and interacting with nature.

Organic Learning Zone by the Soil Association
Practical demonstrations and advice on organic skills and techniques, from a One Pot Pledge to home composting and wormery demonstrations, food growing and cooking advice plus keeping bees and chickens.

Garden Organics Displays
1 metre square displays will inspire people to grow their own food organically, in small spaces.

The Earth Awards
This year The Earth Awards will present installations in the gardens of Clarence House. A striking eco-villa and many more exhibits will represent design innovations that address the most pressing challenges we are all facing today due to climate change.

Highgrove Shop
For this rare occasion Highgrove Shop will open its doors in Clarence House Gardens. The Highgrove Shop sells exclusive branded gifts for the home and garden that often reflect the personal interests of HRH The Prince of Wales. The products are inspired by the beautiful gardens at Highgrove and all meet rigorous buying criteria; they must have:
• genuine provenance
• be of original design or formulation
• be sourced responsibly with regard to environmental issues.
Profits from the sale of Highgrove products are donated to The Prince’s Charities Foundation, a grant-making charity which supports a wide range of causes and projects.

AHAE Nature Photo Exhibition – ‘Through My Window’
Simplicity, beauty and the boundless vitality of nature has been captured in the photos of Korean naturalist and keen conservationist AHAE. Interwoven in the ‘Forest Garden’, AHAE’s photos aim to ‘open people’s eyes to see the wealth of life that is right outside their window.’

Other activities include:

• Electric GoKart Rides
• Home Composting
• Roller Racing
• Wormery Demonstrations
• Zero Emission Cars
• Green Motoring Advice
• British Wines
• Scooter Test Drives
• Cycle Safety Training
• Bee Keeping
• Sounds of The Future
• Keeping Chickens

Culminating at the finishing line on The Mall, celebrity drivers, in a variety of alternative fuel vehicles from electric to hybrid and bio-fuel, will drive from Broad Street Oxford via HRH The Prince of Wales’ ‘Natural House’ at the BRE Innovation Park to London on 31 July. City cars, bikes, scooters and bicycles will join the Eco-Rally from London’s Ace Cafe.

Open for 5 days only from 27-31 July, the Start Sustainable Pop-up Restaurant at Lancaster House features a free to enter garden bar area with a selection of sustainable light bites on the terrace. The restaurant and bar are designed to demonstrate the simple and easy ways to eat and live more sustainably with a menu created by Jamie Grainger-Smith and Gizzi Erskine that incorporates some of the best locally sourced British food and organic wines.

For further details about Start, visit

For further details about the Bridgestone Eco-Rally, visit

About Start
Start, an initiative by HRH the Prince of Wales, aims to inspire the UK public to take simple steps towards more sustainable living. Start provides advice and inspiration for the simple, practical and fun ways in which we can all make a start, by bringing together the best ideas from all over the UK.

In 2010, Start attracted over 30,000 visitors to the beautiful gardens of Clarence House, The Prince of Wales’s official London Residence, and the neighbouring gardens of Lancaster House and Marlborough House, with a festival in celebration of sustainable living. The event featured over 270 musicians, comedians, environmental champions and over 100 inspiring and interactive displays from some of Britain’s best-known companies. The event attracted support and participation from the likes of Dame Vivienne Westwood, Alan Titchmarsh, George Clarke and Brian Blessed, to name just a few, as well as exclusively launching Emma Watson’s spring/summer People Tree collection with a spectacular fashion show.

Start Day is part of a broader 2011 programme that begins to take Start out around the UK, going where people are and inspiring them with fresh ideas – from the spring home shows, to the Royal Agricultural Shows, from sponsoring the London ITV weather, to working on pilot schemes in local communities, Start is building a reputation as the ‘go to’ place for exciting ideas on living differently. The next big event will be Start At Kew, an amazing Start experience created in the heart of the magnificent Kew Gardens over the August bank holiday weekend.

By the Editor
The Green Guide July 7, 2011, 10:28