Roy has been a member of the Royal Horticultural Society for over 40 years and in 2005 was elected a Vice President. In 1972 he was awarded the Society's Gold Veitch Memorial Medal for Services to Horticulture. This was followed in 1988 by the Society's most prestigious award the Victoria Medal of Honour. He is a Vice Chairman of the Society's Woody Plant Committee and a member of several other committees.
In 1998 Roy received the OBE for services to horticulture and this was followed in 2014 with the award of a CBE. In 2002 he received the Garden Writers' Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2006 was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Kew Guild followed, in 2008 by the award of the Kew Guild Medal. Since 1980 he has been a freelance writer, lecturer, broadcaster, plant explorer and tour leader. He has 1/3 acre garden in which he grows a large collection of plants, some of which he has introduced as seed from the wild. Roy Lancaster is one of the most highly regarded and distinguished horticulturalists in the country.