​Sepura Radios Keep Royal Horticultural Society Communicating

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) was founded in 1804 to be the world’s leading gardening charity by inspiring passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. With five gardens across the UK, from Surrey to Greater Manchester, their gardens, which attract over 2 million visitors per year, needed a robust and secure communications solution.

Sepura has provided a scalable TETRA digital radio solution, with smart applications to support multiple user groups as well as providing excellent coverage and unrivalled audio quality.

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In conjunction with our partner Chatterbox Ltd, Sepura worked closely with the RHS to carry out site surveys and designed a fully trunked, end-to-end solution that met the communication needs of each site. The first two venues upgraded to a Sepura TETRA solution so far are Wisley in Surrey and Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire.

These TETRA digital radio systems are a superb fit for the Royal Horticultural Society and the daily operational challenges faced by staff members, Both sites required a flexible system to keep pace with their evolving requirements, having reported continual increases in visitor numbers. We are proud to be able to supply a Sepura TETRA radio system to match their current requirements that is also fit for the future.

Gary Leatherby, Managing Director, Chatterbox

The Challenge

As popular all year round visitor sites, analogue radio systems were used daily for communication between teams, including mission critical emergencies such as first aid or lost children. The systems previously used were voice-only with limited coverage across the sites, and almost guaranteed loss of coverage within many of the buildings. The sites also struggled with meeting modern day health and safety requirements and the tracking and supporting of lone workers.

There was a recognition that the time had come to replace the obsolete radio systems at each site with a modern digital radio system which had flexibility to add more features and capacity to cope with the ever growing numbers of visitors.

The RHS wanted to:

  • Enhance and improve day-to-day communication
  • across the whole garden and within buildings
  • Support emergency response
  • Facilitate lone worker safety and support
  • Support 100-500 individual users per site
  • Link radio systems to IT networks, enabling key data to be shared
  • Link the separate sites together using IP and connect
  • to the internal telephone systems

The decision to implement a Sepura system followed intense, competitive testing of a complete system over a 2 week period during which departmental radio users trialed a variety of manufacturer radios. In the final analysis, users preferred the lightweight, user friendly Sepura SC20 hand portable radios and found coverage inside buildings where it had not previously been possible, as well as across the entire site.


These two projects with Royal Horticultural Society demonstrate our ability to provide high-quality communications solutions to the business and industry sectors. We are delighted that the RHS has placed its trust in Sepura and we are pleased to make a contribution to the safety of staff and visitors alike. We look forward to supporting more of the Society’s gardens in the future.

Cliff Davies, Business Development Manager, Sepura

The Solution

With 280 Sepura radios now in use across the sites, the Royal Horticultural Society are seeing the benefits of a two way radio system for all aspects of the business, from gardeners and management to first aiders, security, parking, catering and administration.

The radio system is made up of a PC dispatch system, wall-mounted base stations and rugged hand portable radios which all together provide the Royal Horticultural Society with communications systems for use in all weathers, day in day out, all year round.

SC20 Hand-portable radio

In RHS user evaluations, the SC2024 hand-portable scored the highest for loud, crystal-clear audio - even in high-noise environments - while its rugged, lightweight design with IP68 environmental protection makes it ideal for outdoor use in all weather conditions. Additional safety features such as Lone Worker, Emergency Call, Man-Down, Priority Call and GPS positioning help to improve response times, instantly alerting first aid and security teams to incidents and locations.

Base station/repeaters

Wall-mounted MBS base station repeaters provide comprehensive coverage across the site and deliver four fully trunked time slots per channel, increasing simultaneous call and data capacity.

6way charger/programmer

Providing multiple radio and battery charging, as well as bulk programming, these new chargers allow Chatterbox to remotely programme RHS radios via a VPN, providing fast, simple future upgrades.

PC Dispatcher

Our control room solution includes call logging, texting, emergency call handling, GPS mapping and optional voice call recording/playback/archiving, all of which enhance visitor safety and security whilst supporting RHS facility management procedures and business efficiency.

In addition, RHS can add the following applications:

  • Image – security can send pictures of a missing person
  • Job Ticketing – management can automate job allocation, responses and audits
  • Query – radio users can check stock, pricing from a database
  • Indoor Locate – see where radio users are inside buildings

We are delighted with the performance of the systems and the support we receive from Chatterbox. Implementing the new TETRA systems across our initial two sites has improved our health safety and security operations across the business ensuring visitors to the Royal Horticultural Society are in safe hands.

Chris Simpson, Security Manager, ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY