While most people are still thinking about enjoying the rest of the summer, Wakehurst is busy preparing for its fifth Glow Wild – the iconic winter lantern trail that sees the Mansion, botanic garden and woodlands come alive with lanterns and fire installations.
Volunteers have been working hard since the beginning of the summer making lanterns in the Mansion attic, and this week Kari Winter, Ranger and creative lead for Glow Wild, unearthed hundreds of lanterns which have been stored in outbuildings since last Christmas.
Kari said: “We’re checking the lanterns over, one by one, as we always try and reuse a proportion from the year before. Our team of volunteers will be cleaning each one with warm soapy water and repairing any small tears, so they will look their best out in the grounds.
She added: “It feels strange organising the lanterns in this extreme heat – it’s hard to think of them sitting outside in cold winter temperatures.”
On Monday Friends of Wakehurst/Kew got first dibs at purchasing tickets - with an incredible 3,333 tickets being sold on the first day - 13.8% increase on last year.
Booking opens for the general public on Wednesday 15 August at 10am. www.kew.org/Wakehurst or call See tickets on 0115 8960220.
Glow Wild will run on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 22 November – 16 December, and visitors will be able to choose from eight half hourly time slots between 4.30pm – 8pm.
This year’s trail will be full of surprises – an avenue of oaks housing glowing native owls will welcome you on your arrival. Giant willow figures will arise from the shadowy waters of the Mansion Pond and the new Winter Garden will be brought alive with torches of fire. The Mansion will be transformed with a projection of a native wild flower meadow.
For more information contact Sandra Howard, Communications and Content Manager on 01444 984336
Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden in the Sussex High Weald, is one of the most beautiful and significant botanic gardens in the country. It is home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, which houses and protects seed from the world’s most substantial and diverse collection of threatened and useful wild plants, and leads the MSB Partnership, a crucially important global science-based conservation programme which is the largest of its kind in the world. The estate includes a contemporary botanic garden, where ornamental plantings and exotic tree and shrub collections of international importance sit within native woodland. Wakehurst’s natural assets associated with its countryside location renders it complementary to Kew’s West London site, with different growing conditions, and a real emphasis on wild plant collections. Coupled with the Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst offers an inspiring, immersive, and educational day out for the whole family, and serves as a vital contribution to UK and global plant conservation.
Please note that Wakehurst is referred to just as Wakehurst, not Wakehurst Place. It is not a National Trust property.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections 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 and a top London visitor attraction. Kew’s 132 hectares of landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden, attract over 2.1 million visits every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. Kew receives just under half of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.