Spring into Biodiversity Year at Kew Gardens
Spring at Kew, February – April 2010. The biggest display of colour in the country…
Leaping into Biodiversity Year at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, come and enjoy the diversity of over 5 million bulbs blooming, flooding the open spaces of Kew Gardens with three months of flowering splendour. The swathes of crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils, rhododendrons and azaleas are set to be a riot of colour.
On entering the Gardens at Victoria Gate (from mid February), visitors will be greeted with a sea of over two million blue, white, and mauve crocuses (Crocus vernus) stretching beyond the Temple of Bellona and towards King William's Temple. Take a stroll down the length of the Broad Walk bathed in the glorious sunny glow of daffodils, the perfect setting for a gentle amble on a sunny spring day (from March onwards). Later in the season thousands of deep blue, starry flowered Chionodoxa siehei carpet the lawns surrounding White Peaks. These delicate alpine plants are known as 'Glory of the Snow' in western Turkey as they emerge from the melting snow of the mountains.
- Find out more about Kew's seasonal tours here
Never miss the beautiful displays…
This spring, visitors to Kew Gardens can time their trip to perfection by keeping an eye on our Bulb Watch map at www.kew.org/bulbwatch. This map is regularly updated by garden staff working in the Gardens so you can be sure never to miss one of the stunning displays!
Treehouse Towers, RBG Kew’s new outdoor play area opens…
From early spring, Treehouse Towers, Kew’s brand new tree-themed outdoor play area supported by Velvet will be unveiled. Located outside Climbers and Creepers, Kew’s indoor botanical play zone, Treehouse Towers will allow up to 300 kids to climb up ladders, clamber across rope bridges and slide their way down from the three towers. Each one varies in height and as children scale between them; they’ll find each one more of a challenge. The area will feature giant swings, zip wires, scramble nets, slides and a mountaineering ramp, for families to enjoy, whilst also offering educational opportunities for children to learn about and appreciate trees.
Suitable for kids aged from 3 - 11, Treehouse Towers is being funded by Velvet family toilet roll who have ensured that all elements of the play area are created from FSC certified wood, tying in with their ‘three trees’ initiative, where they ensure that three trees are replanted for every one used.
Fun for all the family…
Spring is not just about flowers, it is a time when lots of types of plants start to wake up, and burst with new life, including trees. To tie in with the launch of TreehouseTowers, throughout the Easter Holidays (2 April – 18 April) kids can take part in special tree-themed activity workshops at KewGardens. Once youngsters have played their morning away at TreehouseTowers they can get creative and join one of the nearby interactive workshops; discover why there are there are so many diverse types of trees, explore some of the different ways they are used, and get inspired about how we can help in safeguarding the future of trees. Workshops will run daily and are free for children. A more detailed programme will be available online at www.kew.org closer to the time.
A free Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Easter Sunday (4 April, 9.30 – 12.30pm). Seek out the friendly characters from Kew’s botanical playzone Climbers and Creepers who will be waiting in position around the Gardens for youngsters to pick up the tokens needed to pick up their Green & Black's Easter chocolate treat.
Free Tours for all…
Join one of the free daily tours, ‘The Darling buds of March and April’and take in Kew’s seasonal highlights. Tours start from Victoria Plaza at 12 pm daily, and can take up to 20 people.
Spring will launch this year’s ‘Thinking Walk'. Inspired by the thinking walks that helped the great scientist Charles Darwin shape his theories and ideas, this self-guided trail will enable families to explore the diversity of plants and animals in the Gardens, and learn about how all living things from plants to humans connect and could not exist alone.
Kew’s Tropical Nursery is throwing open its gates for a day (Sunday 11 April, 11am–5pm) to give you a look at the fascinating work carried out behind the scenes. There will be information on propagation techniques and pest control, as well as displays of the amazing tropical plants, some of which are extinct in the wild, raised in the nursery. Entry is though the gate beside White Peaks. Staff will be on hand to answer questions.
- For further information about please contact the press office on +44 (0)20 8332 5607 or email email@example.com.
- Images are available at www.kew.org/press/images - please contact the press office for the username and password.
Notes to Editors
- Opening hours: Please see http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/visit-information/opening-times/index.htm . Last entry to the Gardens, the glasshouses, galleries and the Xstrata Treetop Walkway is 30 minutes before closing.
- Admission (until the 1 April): Adults £13, Concessions £11, free for children under 17 (with an adult). From 1 April onwards, Adults £13.50, Concessions £11.50
- Visitor information: 020 8332 5655 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.kew.org
Treehouse Towers: Velvet family toilet tissue will be running two competitions for schools and families, asking entrants to draw their ultimate fantasy tree Prizes include a VIP trip to Kew Gardens, and the entrants artworks will be on display at Kew Gardens.
SCA is the leading supplier of tissue in Europe. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, SCA’s products can be found almost everywhere and in the UK, leading brands include Plenty, Velvet, Charmin and Tempo. As a business group within the Swedish SCA Group, SCA Tissue Europe employs approximately 8,600 people and generated a turnover of approximately 2.7 billion Euros in 2008. For further information please visit: www.sca.com
Climbers and Creepers: All activities can only be booked on the day with staff at Climbers and Creepers for fun autumn activities. No pre-booking is taken.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class Herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international visitor attraction. Its landscaped 132 hectares and RBG Kew's country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly 2 million visitors every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst Place is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. RBG Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10 per cent of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30, 000 species). The aim is to conserve 25% by 2020 and funds are being actively sought in order to continue this vital work. Support the work of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership by getting involved with the ‘Adopt a Seed, Save a Species' campaign www.kew.org/adoptaseed .
‘Biodiversity Year at Kew’ in 2010 will celebrate the importance of plant diversity in underpinning biodiversity through a programme of themed and seasonal horticultural displays, art exhibitions, educational activities for all the family and scientific announcements. The year kicks off with Tropical Extravaganza (6 February to 7 March 2010), a celebration of the world’s largest and most diverse family of plants – orchids. More information about the 2010 programme will be available in due course, please check www.kew.org/press/
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is part of the world-wide celebrations of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, and is one of over 300 UK organisations, charities and groups supporting this global awareness campaign. The diversity of life on earth is crucial for human well-being and now is the time to act to preserve it. For information on events, initiatives and exhibitions across the UK during 2010 visit www.biodiversityislife.net
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