Just Stop Oil supporters throw orange paint over Chelsea Flower Show garden

Three supporters of Just Stop Oil have thrown orange paint over the The RBC Brewin Dolphin Garden at Chelsea Flower Show, as actions in the capital continue in their fifth week. They are demanding that the UK government halts all new oil, gas and coal projects. [1]

At around 9:00am, the three women stepped over the rope barrier, walked into the middle of the show garden designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes, and threw the contents of several packets of orange powder paint across the flowers and hard landscaping. One of them said “What use is a garden if you can’t eat?” Cries of dismay could be heard from the public, though this later changed to applause and cries of “well done“. [2]

Today’s action comes after five weeks of continued civil resistance by supporters of Just Stop Oil slowly marching around London’s streets. The disruption is in response to the government’s plans to licence over 100 new oil and gas projects by 2025. [3][4]

Naomi Goddard, 58, a retired landscape architect from Hebden Bridge said:

“What use is a garden when you can’t grow food? I live in a small town that has flooded five times in the last eight years. Dirty sewage filled flood water, pouring into people’s homes, classrooms and offices and destroying carefully tended gardens. Then the heat came, the parched eroded moorland was burning, a stray spark from a barbeque causing huge fires.”

“We all know that we can’t carry on like this. We can’t tend the garden and ignore the world on fire. New oil and gas will destroy everything we love. 

“I know that by carrying out this action, I risk losing my job, my livelihood and my reputation but it is what I have to do right now. We all need to do everything in our power to stop this madness continuing. There is a better, cleaner, safer future but only if we fight for it.”

Stephanie Golder, 35, a charity project coordinator from Southend said: 

“As a passionate gardener and food grower I am petrified of a future without pollinators and therefore without food. Farmers in the U.K. are already having to adapt to extreme weather and one fifth of the food we eat in this country is grown in countries at the highest risk of climate chaos.  It would be lovely to be here enjoying these beautiful displays but climate friendly gardening won’t save us from catastrophe. 

“Today I disrupted the Chelsea Flower Show  to ask the visitors, exhibitors and the RHS to pick a side; to stand for good over evil, life over death, right over wrong; to stand with the young and the billions of people in the global south whose lives are being cut short by climate collapse. If you love gardens or growing food, you must join in civil resistance against new oil and gas.”

Rosa Hicks, 28, a disability support worker from London said

“Nothing in the garden is rosy. As of last week, scientists are predicting that we will pass the supposed safe limit of 1.5 degrees of global heating by 2027. We’re heading for 2.7C and billions of people being forced from their homes by extreme heat.  The thought of food shortages, war and death terrifies me, but it’s our current trajectory. 

“I have completely lost faith in our government to help solve this crisis – they are pouring fuel on the fire with 100 new oil and gas licences. Civil resistance is our best hope to secure a future for young people. You can’t appreciate nature and flowers and not fight new oil and gas. It’s time to pick a side.”

This is not a one day event, this is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project. Our indefinite campaign of civil resistance is underway and will not end until our government makes a meaningful statement halting new fossil fuel projects in the UK. 

We will not be intimidated by changes to the law, we will not be stopped by private injunctions sought to silence peaceful people. Our supporters understand that these are irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter, the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities.

We stand with our supporters in prison, with the 1700 murdered across the globe, for protecting our futures. We will not die silently, it will be ordinary people, like you, your friends, colleagues and neighbours who do what our government cannot. It will take all of us.

Join Just Stop Oil on a slow march at midday every Saturday, at Parliament Square until we win. 


Press contact: 07762 987334 

Press email: [email protected]

High quality images & video here: https://juststopoil.org/press-media 

Website: https://juststopoil.org/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JustStopOil/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/just.stopoil/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JustStop_Oil 

Youtube: https://juststopoil.org/youtube 

Notes to Editors

[1] Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to demand that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK. Just Stop Oil is a member of the A22 Network of civil resistance projects. Climate Emergency Fund is Just Stop Oil’s primary funder for recruitment, training, and capacity building. 

Just Stop Oil ‘Blue Lights’ policy: our policy is, and has always been, to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with siren sounding and ‘blue lights’ on.

[2] https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/Gardens/2023/rbc-brewin-dolphin-garden

[3] Grant Shapps presents embedded carbon red herrings to energy professionals asking the audience to focus on the 4% of UK emissions from production of oil and gas rather than the 76% of UK emissions which comes from burning the product.  https://www.energymonitor.ai/sectors/industry/grant-shapps-assures-the-uks-oil-and-gas-industry-it-has-his-full-support-to-continue-drilling/

[4] The government’s failure to take into account the climate impact of using oil and gas in its licensing decisions has been challenged in the courts and will now be subject to judicial review. https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/oil-licensing-legal-challenge-granted-permission/