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Press release: Summer Explorers at Wakehurst

A bumper-packed summer holiday programme filled with music, story-telling and crafty sessions perfect for all the family.
Release date: 
17 August 2018

Kids will love kicking off their shoes, running free and exploring our gardens and woodlands this summer.

We've got a host of workshops and drop-in activities to help them learn a new skill, talk to an expert and get creative along the way. For more information and to book online for workshops go to, or drop in on the day. 

Summer Explorers – summer holiday programme:

23 July - 29 JulySurvival of the Species

  • Can you save the world’s plants? Let’s hope so! Play Extinction Zone which will get you thinking like a seed hunting scientist and try our Race Against Time game.  All activities are free this week.
  • Treat yourself to delicious cryo ice-cream – made in billowing vats of liquid nitrogen. Scientists use this cryopreservation technique to conserve recalcitrant seeds, that can’t be dried in the usual way at the Millennium Seed Bank.

30 July – 5 August - Outdoor Photography

  • Photography is a great skill to learn at any age. And, combined with the beauty of Wakehurst’s magical landscape and wildlife the results cannot fail to be captivating. This week we will be celebrating nature through the lens with a series of courses for all ages.
  • My Naturewatch talks 2 & 3 August, 11am, free of charge, in the Mansion. They will explain how to make a Naturewatch camera and the results you can achieve in your back garden.
  • My Naturewatch workshops also 2 & 3 August will help you make your very own Naturewatch camera to capture the wildlife right outside your door. Free. 12pm and 3pm.
  • Photography and natural world exhibition, by Wakehurst’s Garden Supervisor Paul Reader, in the Mansion.

6- 12 August - Stories in the Woods

  • Everyone loves their own storybook. Make your own bound notebook/storybook in a 45-minute workshop in the woods. Times throughout the day.
  • Story Walks – walk through the woodlands collecting all sorts of things to inspire you to produce your own ‘blockbuster’ story.
  • Storytelling from the Giant’s Chair – told by real life actors, who will have you spellbound with their tales. Times throughout the day.

13 – 19 August – Sounds of Nature

  • Sound Foraging workshops – create music from mulch, tunes from twigs and beats from branches! Join the team from Unite the Beat for a musical adventure in Wakehurst’s woodlands. The session will culminate in an all-natural nature musical jam. Sessions throughout the day. Cost £6.  Times throughout the day.
  • Musical instrument making - make your own musical instrument out of natural materials. Cost £3.

20 – 26 August – Woodland Adventures

  • Tree- climbing - calling all Tarzans! This is your chance to scale new heights with the help of the Great Big Tree Climbing Company’s skilled instructors. They will shou how to climb using ropes, knots and carabiners, while securely attached in a harness. Times throughout the day. Cost £20. Book online.
  • Wand-making - welcome to a world of wizardry! Whether you’re Potter mad or curious about wild magic, come and create your own wonderous wand. Unicorn dust, bog wood and mermaids’ pearls provided. Cost £3.

27 August – 2 September – Natural crafts

  • Woodland printmaking - come and screenprint your own design inspired by the landscape at Wakehurst. Martha and Catherine from Printwalks will guide you through the process of creating your own original print. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Times throughout the day. Cost £5.
  • Clay sculptures - using local clay, handmake your own flower pot and enjoy embellishing it – be as creative as you dare! Cost £3. Please note: note available 28 August.

Wakehurst - a fabulous day out for all the family

Every day at Wakehurst children can enjoy The Children’s Heritage Garden where hours can be spent having fun in the Mud Kitchen and Potting Shed. They can walk the Woodlands of the World, as many of our trees are planted in areas of origin or race around in our Natural Play Spaces interspersed throughout the grounds.

Tree Trunk Trek is a favourite for older kids who love climbing and making up their own games and the Hidden World of Tree Seeds Trail will get children looking at trees in a whole new way. These can both be found in Pearcelands Wood.

Older children will also be fascinated by watching scientists carry out their seed conservation processes from behind the glass windows in the Millennium Seed Bank.

Throughout the summer holidays – until 2 September:

Toilets and pop-up catering will be available near Tree Trunk Trek and barbequed food and ice-cream will be available in the Carriage Ring.


The Stables Restaurant, Redwoods and the Seed Café has a selection of delicious hot and cold lunches for all ages.

For more information contact Sandra Howard, Communications and Content Manager on 01444 894336

Notes to editors

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.