Hannah and Rachel Rahman earned top spots in the international Olympic wreath competition.
Two Whitchurch students have claimed top spots in a global competition inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Last year the Botanic Garden Conservation International organisation announced a global competition for young people to create a design of an Olympic wreath using native plants of their country.
Rachel and Hannah Rhaman, who live in Kingsley Park and attend Whitchurch CofE Primary School and Testbourne respectively, entered the competition with wreaths created using plants found on the Meadow.
Hundreds of entries from around the world were submitted to the competition, which in the UK was organised by the Eden Project.
All the global finalists can be seen wearing their creations HERE.
Rachel’s wreath finished in the top 10 and Hannah’s won third place!
Hannah's wreath was dedicated to the British Forest and was made of oak branches, dogrose and hawthorn.
The task was not an easy one: The competition was announced at the end of October with the deadline for regional entries – at Eden Project – set for the end of December. There were not too many flowers at this time of year, and if you think of the colourful autumn leaves, it is amazing how very few of the foliage come from native British plants!
An unusually warm October allowed Rachel to use the last surviving wild flowers from the Meadow to create her masterpiece and out-compete beautiful exotic flower wreaths from China and Peru.
Hannah was desperately trying to be traditional and find some last surviving autumn flowers to include into her wreath. She was not very successful after the sharp morning frosts and went instead for an autumn berries theme wonderfully complementing her magnificent oak base. Her effort paid off: she was awarded third place and her wreath was the only one in the top 5 without a single flower in it!
Rachel’s wreath was dedicated to the British Meadows and made of watercress, forget-me-nots, water mint and ox-eye daisies.
DESCRIBING THEIR PLANT CHOICES
In addition to making the actual wreath, both girls had to write an explanation as to why they chose the plants they did and what they may represent; The wreaths had to have a conservation message, too.
Rachel’s conservation message stated: “Water Meadows with their beautiful wild flowers should not be destroyed when roads and houses are needed; we need to keep them for future generations so people of the future can enjoy them as we are.”
The conservation message from Hannah was: “We need to protect the magnificent oak forests of England because they are full of beauty, history, legends and myths, and are the home for wild animals, beautiful birds and our national tree.”