Climate Week tribute to visionary environmentalist
At the start of Climate Week 2022, preparations are in hand to mark the centenary of the great visionary environmentalist Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour, 9th Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), with the unveiling of a new craft piece at a mountainside memorial in Argyll.
Recognised as “a most eminent botanist of any age,” Bayley Balfour (1853 – 1922), foresaw the impact of climate change in Scotland and was an advocate of conservation for the well-being of people and the planet. At Oxford in 1894, he delivered an evangelical plea for forestry to be recognised as a scientific and economic resource, declaring that an end to overharvesting and a new focus for conservation tree planting would benefit “hygienic and climatic influences.”
On Thursday, September 22, at Benmore Botanic Garden, near Dunoon, the site he triggered as RBGE’s first Regional Garden, a new “Pan” carving by local craftsman Guy Elder was unveiled atop the official Bayley Balfour memorial, designed by the renowned architect Robert Lorimer. The centenary of Bayley Balfour’s death is November 30.
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