A message from Kew's Director.....
"We are delighted with the successful outcome of our nomination
to be inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites, which was announced
by UNESCO in Paris on 3 July 2003. The inscription recognises the
importance of Kew’s uninterrupted contributions to botanical
and environmental science since 1759, together with its unique collection
of plants from all over the world, and its international influence
on the history of landscape and garden design.
Kew’s scientific and conservation work is only made possible
by its wonderfully rich heritage. The gardens provide superb opportunities
for public enjoyment, but the science behind the scenes, based on
unrivalled collections, is equally important to help maintain plants
and their environments for future generations. Being awarded World
Heritage Site status brings with it increased public awareness about
the full dimensions of Kew. These can be explored on this website.
But even more importantly it also embodies a commitment to maintain
an organisation and place that is truly special – and world
Over the last 20 years staff at Kew have worked enormously hard
to upgrade and secure the heritage of the Kew estate and this has
now been rewarded. The Palm House underwent a major refurbishment
in 1985 in partnership with the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries
and Food, and in the last year both the Orangery and The Nash Conservatory
have undergone major renovation to preserve their structure, increase
public access and make them more useful to Kew’s visitors.
On the landscape, the Broadwalk has been renewed and improvements
have also been made to the vistas. Nevertheless, there is still
much more to do. Kew’s buildings and landscape need continual
maintenance and improvement. Inscription on the WHS list gives us
new impetus to undertake this important work.
I would like to extend sincere thanks to all those who have supported
us through the process to gain World Heritage Site status, in particular
to our sponsoring Department Defra, who support us in so many ways,
as well as DCMS and the World Heritage Site Steering Committee.
The staff at Kew also deserve thanks for undertaking the necessary
work so quickly, and to such a high standard."
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew