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Kew Magazine goes to the ball

Christina Harrison
4 December 2009

Just to prove the run up to Christmas isn't all about manic shopping...

Yesterday the Kew magazine team donned their glad-rags and sneaked – Cinderella-like – out of the office to the glittering Garden Media Guild Awards dinner. These are the Oscars of the garden media world for books, magazines, radio, TV and web. All the celebs of gardening were there – Mr T, Joe Swift, Toby Buckland, Dan Pearson, James Wong, Cleve West, James Alexander-Sinclair, and even John Craven from Countryfile to name but a few. I’m all for a bit of celeb-spotting, so it was great fun.
 


Professor Angela McFarlane accepts the Garden Media Guild's best wishes on Kew 250th anniversary at the Awards on Thursday night

This year Kew Publishing were finalists in the reference book of the year category for New Trees: Recent Introductions to Cultivation and the Pocket Guide to Rhododendron Species, which was fantastic. But for me, the best news of the night was that Kew won the Young Gardener Initiative of the Year award for the Great Plant Hunt. Fantastic! The judges said, and I quote:

‘To come up with a project that fits in with a community and/or a school curriculum is not easy and, in order to stand the test of time and change lives, needs incredible commitment.’

This is a wonderful accolade and congratulations must go to all the Great Plant Hunt Team who worked so hard to create the materials and get all those treasure chests out to every primary school in Britain! This means that thanks to Kew and the Wellcome Trust, over half a million children are getting to know why plants are important for our future. Hurrah!

On a related note, I read the other day that in some parts of the country over 30% of people thought biodiversity was a washing powder! Clearly there is plenty for us still to do, to get the message out there about the importance of plants for life. And with climate change talks in the spotlight at Copenhagen this week, it's becoming clear we need to act now to protect life on Earth, or we’ll be reaping the consequences sooner than we think. We will certainly be aiming to get these kind of messages across in Kew magazine throughout 2010 and beyond.

Although Kew magazine didn't win anything this year, we were fortunate enough to win two awards last year (the Environmental Writing Award and Features Photographer of the Year) so I guess we can’t complain too much – shouldn’t be greedy! The Guild were also kind enough to wish Kew Happy 250th Birthday too - so a good night was had by all.

The spring issue is in full editing/ design mode at the moment so today it is back to the desk to wear out a few more red pens! After all we’ve got next year’s awards to aim for now.


You can buy New Trees: Recent Introductions to Cultivation (by John Grimshaw and Ross Bayton) and Pocket Guide to Rhododendron Species - based on the descriptions of H.H. Davidian (by J.F. McQuire and M.L.A. Robinson) at the Kew shop onsite or online or via www.kewbooks.com

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