Botanic gardens win award for 51-year contribution

Carol Hart, botanical propagator in the Wakehurst nursery. Picture: Royal Botanic Gardens
Carol Hart, botanical propagator in the Wakehurst nursery. Picture: Royal Botanic Gardens

Wakehurst has been recognised by the Environment Agency for its 51-year contribution of recording rainfall.

The botanic gardens in Ardingly has been taking rainfall readings once a day throughout this time and has been sending them to the agency once a month – along with other weather observations.

The agency use the data to plot weather patterns and look for signs of climate change.

Carol Hart, botanical propagator in the Wakehurst nursery, is in charge of measuring the daily rainfall in the rainwater gage.

She said: “It was lovely to receive this certificate and it was completely out of the blue.

“This really has been a team effort over the years as many members of staff have been involved in taking the readings and doing the paperwork.”

Director Tony Sweeney said receiving the certificate was an ‘unexpected delight’.

He said: “It was an unexpected delight to be recognised by the Environment Agency for our high quality rainfall observations.

“We have been recording the weather since the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew took over the running of Wakehurst 51 years ago.

“Concern for the environment is at the forefront of our work, and contributing towards environmental statistics is something we are very happy to do.”

The house and botanic gardens are owned by the National Trust but used and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

It is home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, which houses and protects seed from all over the world.

To find out more information visit www.kew.org/visit-wakehurst.

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