Wakehurst reveals brand-new route and 11 spectacular bespoke light installations for Glow Wild 2022

Select evenings: Thursday 24 November 2022 – Sunday 1 January 2023
Entry slots available between 16.30 and 20.00
Tickets from £14 adult/£11 child
On sale now
At Wakehurst, Sussex

Release date: 3 August 2022

  • Wakehurst's mysterious Black Pond transforms into spectacle of bioluminescent plants formed of luminous UV materials above and under water, from artist Malgorzata Lisiecka
  • Visual artists AndNow: surround visitors in the textures, sounds and smells of moss and lichen in new immersive tunnel installation, and dazzle with illuminating display of over 300 flaming torches
  • Lead Creative partner, Same Sky, champion art of lantern-making with beautifully crafted pieces, from a magical aviary featuring UK native birds to sunset-kissed clouds suspended over woodland paths
  • Intricate hand-crafted lanterns from maker and illustrator Kerith Ogden bring the fascinating spectrum of insects and minibeasts to life
  • Launch of adults-only sessions, perfect for a heart-warming date night, or a fun evening out with friends
  • The UK’s tallest living Christmas tree at 37m tall dazzles with 1,800 energy-saving bulbs
  • Brand-new route developed especially for Glow Wild 2022 draws visitors deeper into Wakehurst’s wild landscape

Forming a glistening haven in the heart of Sussex, Wakehurst’s enchanting winter lantern trail Glow Wild returns for 2022. The ninth edition promises a brand-new route through Kew’s wild botanic garden, with 11 bespoke installations and over 1000 paper lanterns handmade by local volunteers all celebrating the incredible colour spectrum of the natural world. Winter wanderers are invited to consider the fundamental role of colour for all living things, discover the power of colour communication within the animal kingdom and explore the outer edges of colour perception.

Ride the rainbow

From the moment visitors collect their colourful lantern to guide them through the encroaching dark, they embark on Glow Wild’s most colourful route to date, with each segment lit with different vibrant colours, bathed in a new soundscape from Brighton artists, Ithaca. The dark hues of succulent berries conjure up infra-red as the trail commences. Though invisible to the human eye, Wakehurst bats rely on infra-red waves and eagle-eyed adventurers may see their lantern figures languishing in trees above. Maker and illustrator Kerith Ogden continues the exploration of the animal kingdom with his series of playful lantern sculptures inspired by the world of insects. Insects’ intriguing use of colour – as a warning, to attract a mate, or as camouflage – is reflected in the richly coloured creations of lady birds, stag beetles, bees, green shield bugs and common blue butterflies. Shimmering blues will also adorn two new arrivals on the Glow Wild trail, with giant parading puppets Percy and Percie the Peacocks entertaining visitors at a pop-up refreshments stop, specially added on the trail to keep hunger and thirst at bay. Plus, Sussex metal sculptor Michelle Dufaur’s shimmering array of lantern birds celebrates the colourful plumes and feathers of native species.

Earthly elements

As the route ventures into new ground for the first time, the trail draws attention to the power of the elements, with a bespoke installation from Glow Wild regulars, AndNow:, returning for their ninth year. Over 300 points of fire will transform the dark woodland path into a dancing fiery display accompanied by a specially commissioned soundscape. The movement of the flames will reflect across the surface of suspended water droplets above, inviting visitors to contemplate the breadth of the elemental spectrum. As the fires ebb away, a new installation from Same Sky forms overhead with clusters of cloud-shaped lanterns bringing calm sunset hues as they billow across the night sky interspersed delicate stars.

Going green

Moving away from the open woodland, AndNow: returns with a glimmering tunnel of greenery, inspired by botanicals, mosses and lichens. The fully immersive installation combines the colours and textures of these richly coloured organisms with sweet wood scented essential oils. Emerging from the cave-like depths, iridescent beetle lanterns enhanced by the amplified sounds of scurrying insects will accompany night-time explorers to a new 12m platform overlooking Wakehurst’s Westwood Valley, which forms the perfect viewpoint for an awe-inspiring projection from digital artists, Colour Project. A joyful exploration of the landscape through colour, the display will progress from the stark whites of winter woodlands to an explosion of kaleidoscopic waves, diffusing across the ravine like ink in water.

A spectacle of bioluminescence

In a series of water-based installations, the gardens take on the soothing tones of blues and purples. UK Young Artist of the Year nominee, Malgorzata Lisiecka returns to Wakehurst following her popular summer installation, with a bespoke piece inspired by the mysterious atmosphere of Black Pond. Exploring structure and colour in nature, Lisiecka suspends, floats and submerges a mixture of luminous materials brought to life with UV light to conjure the hues and movement and algae, sea grasses and plankton. This spectacle of bioluminescence is also the inspiration for Same Sky’s collection of lanterns evoking anemones and other water-based life forms, all dancing over the still waters of the Bog Garden with an iridescent display of scintillating fronds.

Flying colours

As the trail draws to its end, a joyful explosion of colourful flora and fauna forms the Glow Wild finale. Light designers OGE Group transform Mansion Pond in Symphony of Light with flowers up to 4m wide floating on the surface, drawing passing butterflies towards their glowing display. The warm glow of 1,800 energy-saving bulbs adorning Wakehurst’s 37 metre giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), the UK’s tallest living Christmas tree, beckons visitors to nearby crackling firepits – the ideal place for friends and family to enjoy warming food and drink after their winter adventure.

Further new offers for Glow Wild 2022 include adults-only sessions, perfect for a heart-warming date night, or a fun evening out with friends. Every Friday night at 8pm, tickets will be reserved solely for visitors over 18yrs, offering a quieter experience for those looking for an enchanting outdoor experience.

What we are doing to keep visitors safe

We will adhere to government advice on coronavirus to ensure visitors and staff remain safe while enjoying their time at Wakehurst. We have comprehensive measures in place throughout the year at Wakehurst to optimise our visitors’ experience.

ENDS

For more information or images, please contact Frances Teehan, Strategic Communications Manager at Wakehurst, on f.teehan@kew.org

Ticket information

Tickets are available to purchase here: kew.org/glowwild
Entry time slots every 20 minutes between 4.30pm and 8.00pm on the following dates: 

Thursday 24 November – Sunday 27 November
Wednesday 30 November – Sunday 4 December
Wednesday 7 December – Sunday 11 December
Tuesday 13 December – Friday 23 December
Tuesday 27 December – Sunday 1 January

On select evenings we will be offering quiet sessions starting at 4.15pm. 
Gardens close 10pm 

Ticket prices

Wakehurst or Kew member – Adult: £14
Wakehurst or Kew member – Family (2 adults & 2 children): £46
Adult: £17
Children (4 – 16): £11
Infants (under 4) and carers: Free
Family (2 adults & 2 children): £53

Lantern making kit: £4.95

Car parking is free.
Shuttle bus from Haywards Heath from £3.05 / £6.10 for a child/adult return
Only guide dogs or registered disability assistance dogs are allowed in the gardens. 
On Glow Wild event days gardens close at 3pm (last entry 2pm).

Notes to Editors

Please note that Wakehurst is referred to just as ‘Wakehurst’, not ‘Wakehurst Place’. It is not a National Trust property.

Address: Wakehurst, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 6TN
Website: www.kew.org/wakehurst
Facebook: @wakehurst.kew Twitter: @wakehurst_kew
Instagram: @wakehurst_kew
Hashtag: #GlowWild

Wakehurst is Kew’s wild botanic garden in the Sussex High Weald. Its ancient and beautiful landscapes span 535 acres and are a place for escape, exploration, tranquillity and wonder. Its diverse collection of plants from Britain and around the globe thrive within a tapestry of innovative gardens, temperate woodlands, meadows and wetlands. Wakehurst is a centre for UK biodiversity and global conservation, seed research and ecosystem science. At its heart is Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, the world’s largest store of seeds from wild plant species.  

RBG Kew receives approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support RBG Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales. In the first six months of 2022, Kew has welcomed over 10,000 visitors with a £1 ticket for those in receipt of Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Legacy Benefits.