Woodland Group, a staunch supporter of Panathlon, has successfully and sustainably relocated the entire Panathlon Joy Garden from RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 to its forever home, creating a lasting legacy for this special garden which aims to normalise difference, inspire inclusion and ultimately promote mental wellness to children with disabilities and special educational needs.

The global logistics specialist used its expertise to transport over 500 plants and the three beautiful trees that formed the centrepiece of the Panathlon Joy Garden to the Marjorie McClure School, a longstanding Panathlon partner school in Chislehurst, South East London.

The first of two Woodland lorries bringing the plants and trees to their new home

Woodland Group provided a personalised solution; handling the process skilfully and innovatively. This was no small task considering that the three mature Platanus x Hispanica ‘Malburg’ trees have unusual curvy trunks and weigh up to one tonne each!

Woodland Group has been a great supporter of Panathlon for over 10 years, helping the organisation to grow from a local Essex-based charity to one that provides services all over England, Wales and, recently, Northern Ireland.

Panathlon was proud therefore to call on Woodland Group’s assistance before, during, and after RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024, which took place on 20-26 May.

Ahead of the show, Woodland Group transported the three large Platanus x Hispanica ‘Malburg’ trees to the event showground. The trees were loaded carefully into a lorry and strapped in securely, using wooden pallets topped with straw bales to provide extra cushioning on the road. The journey was carried out using HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) to fuel the vehicle.

Watch the garden being built at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 here. Watch our timelapse video here.

Indeed, the Panathlon Joy Garden won an RHS Chelsea Silver-Gilt Medal, and was acclaimed by the general public who commented continuously that it was the most colourful and joyful garden at the show.

During the event, Woodland Group also provided staff as volunteers (see pics below) who interacted with many of the 150,000 visitors that attended the show in central London and visited the stunning garden.

Minimal carbon footprint

After the event, Woodland Group moved the garden to its new home in an environmentally-friendly manner by minimising the journey’s carbon footprint as much as possible. Both the transportation and replanting process respected the drive for sustainability, which was one of the aims of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year.

Recently, Woodland Group was recognised by the British International Freight Association by winning two awards for ‘Sustainable Logistics and Environment’ and ‘Ocean Freight Services’.

Sam Warren, Sustainability Manager at Woodland Group, explains: “Small changes can make a big difference in reducing your impact on the environment. To ensure that our transportation process was as environmentally friendly as possible, the vehicles that have assisted Panathlon and the garden’s relocation from Chelsea were fuelled with Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, which offers an impressive 91.74% reduction in carbon, or a 1080.82 kgCO2 saving, compared with using diesel.”

Warren, who has volunteered previously at a Panathlon sporting event as well as during the week of the Chelsea Flower Show 2024, continues: “We were delighted to help Panathlon at this world-famous show, and proud to be at the heart of re-locating the charity’s beautiful garden to its forever home.” 

Ashley Iceton from Panathlon adds: “We are delighted that Woodland Group played an integral role in both the planning and movement of this garden to RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024, and then onto its forever home at Marjorie McClure School. Not only that, but Woodland’s staff volunteered with us during the week and experienced firsthand the reaction to the garden by tens of thousands of visitors. I cannot thank Woodland Group enough, and Luke Fermor especially, for solving the logistical challenge, as well as everyone at Woodland Group for their ongoing support!”

A few photos of the nearly planted Panathlon Joy Garden at the Marjorie McClure School.