A vast array of plants and infrastructure at all four Gardens suffered considerably during the severe storms of early January, which has resulted in significant losses for RBGE.
The destruction sustained to the Garden is the most extensive we have seen for the last 30 years. A shocking 34 trees were felled by the 100mph hurricane-force winds in Edinburgh, some of which were well-established and aged up to 125 years old. At Benmore some 80 trees were lost, many from the 1820s, and at Dawyck the whole Garden was littered with debris from fallen trees and the damaged tree canopy. Logan, famed for its exotics, lost, amongst others, a champion Eucalyptus moorei and a Cordyline indivisia, notoriously difficult to establish. Many more plants across all four Gardens are still in need of further investigation and remedial work.
Many of our historic Glasshouses also experienced wide-ranging damage, with 600 panes of glass shattered, some of which were astonishingly carried far away from the buildings themselves. We are still investigating whether any major structural damage has occurred. Some of the Glasshouses, such as the Montane houses, will remain closed until assessments are complete, and glass replacement and other repairs will be ongoing for weeks to come.
Although the clean up operation is well underway, we are now counting the true and unexpected cost of this destruction, and would like to appeal to our supporters for donations towards the restoration work needed. Any donation you can offer, however small, will help to ensure the Garden can recover as fully as possible from the extensive damage sustained.
With kind thanks from all at RBGE for your support.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)