Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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The Fairchild Challenge/BGCI Global Competition 2011/2012

Guidelines for schools

This Global Competition links to the London 2012 Inspire programme.  The aims of the Competition are to:

  • encourage students to research their country’s plant biodiversity and represent this through the creation of an Olympic wreath
  • showcase plants from around the world at the London 2012 Olympics and promote a conservation message for plants

How to participate:

1)  Contact your local botanic garden and check that they are participating in the Fairchild Challenge/BGCI Global Competition
2)  Ask your students to:
► Research your country’s plant biodiversity.  Select at least three plants that represent the country and that can be incorporated into a wreath.  They can use different parts of their selected plants to create their wreath -– these could be flowers, leaves, fruits or twigs.  At least one plant selected must have a conservation message. This may be in relation to the plant’s economic, cultural or environmental significance.
► Write a 500-word rationale for their plant selection, including one sentence about the plant that has a conservation message.
► Write a list of plants included in the wreath (make sure they include the Latin names of the plants); a minimum of three different plant species must be used.
► Produce the wreath and take a colour photograph of the student wearing or holding the wreath.  
3)  Set up a judging panel in school (three people is sufficient) and select two top entries.  Designs need to be judged on the plants included and relevance to country’s biodiversity, the rationale for selecting the plants and the conservation message, originality, creativity of design and aesthetics of wreath.
4)  Submit your top two entries to your local participating botanic garden by Thursday 5th April 2012.


The winners of the Global Competition will be announced on BGCI’s and The Fairchild Challenge’s websites in May 2012.  Please note: If selected, permission will need to be requested from the students’ parents to include their images in any publicity material produced.

The winning wreaths

Photographs of the winning wreaths will be displayed in London during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Additional information

Information about the history of the Olympic wreath can be found at
Information about symbolic plants of the Olympic games can be found in a paper published by the Journal of Experimental Botany at