Press Releases

University display scoops Chelsea Flower Show award – University of Reading

Release Date : 25 May 2004

Sarah Swan with sunflowersAn amazing display by the University of Reading has won a Silver Lindley award at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show this year. Research Fellow Sarah Swan, from the University's School of Plant Sciences, was the brains behind 'Light Fantastic'. The stand describes a display that demonstrates work by Professor Paul Hadley and his team on the effect of light on plant growth and the effect of covering plants with special plastic films that have the ability to filter out certain wavelengths of the solar spectrum. These films - or spectral filter technology - were developed by Dr Fred Davis of the School of Chemistry. "These films can control plant height and cut the spread of diseases, reducing the need for growth regulating chemicals, fungicides and pesticides," said Sarah. "They are also able to vary the light in greenhouses, enhancing plant growth and reducing stress on plants through overheating. "The display also shows how this plastic can be recycled into products such as silage bales, bin liners, damp proof coursing and even picnic tables and benches." 'Light Fantastic', which has been sponsored by British Polythene Industries (BPI-Agri), was displayed in the Lifelong Learning Section of the Chelsea Flower Show 2004. Sarah was assisted by PhD students in the School of Plant Sciences and second year students from the Department of Typography who designed the beautiful, eye-catching backdrop in rainbow colours. End For any media enquiries, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University's press officer, on 0118 378 7388, or e-mail:


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