Edinburgh Biomes - February 2019
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has revealed plans for an ambitious new project to protect its unique and globally important plant collection.
The Edinburgh Biomes project aims to secure the Garden’s work for future generations and provide a spectacular new visitor experience for the public. Under draft proposals, Edinburgh Biomes will bring together RBGE’s research, horticulture, education and infrastructure facilities and significantly refurbish and rebuild its Glasshouses.
RBGE has taken this unique opportunity to explore visionary proposals that will not only cover restoration and repairs but deliver world-leading facilities that will protect the work of this national institution for the future.
Plans for the project have been revealed at a time when the Garden’s existing Glasshouse facilities - including both the Grade A listed Victorian Palm Houses, and 1960’s visitor and research Glasshouses - require extensive refurbishment. It will ensure the Glasshouses continue to provide a safe environment for the Garden’s plant collection.
Comprising over 13,500 plant species, RBGE’s collection includes many plants that are endangered or extinct in their native habitats.
Edinburgh Biomes will provide a fitting new home for exotic plants including the Amorphophallus titanum.
Storm damage to the Garden's Glasshouses in 2012
Broken glass inside the Glasshouses following Storm Ali 2018
RBGE received initial funding from the Scottish Government to take the project to planning permission stage and continues to work with Ministers on the next stage which will also include a major fund-raising appeal. If approved, Edinburgh Biomes would be delivered across a staged build to allow for the decanting and relocation of seasonally sensitive plants over several years.
The first phase will involve the creation of a new, efficient, eco-friendly and sustainable energy centre, and state-of-the-art plant health suite to replace its existing facilities at the Nursery to the north of the main Garden. The new plant health suite will provide a safe propagation environment. The new energy centre will introduce ground source heat pumps which, coupled with new low heat loss pipework, will reduce the carbon footprint of the Glasshouses by 12%.
Proposals for Edinburgh Biomes are in the initial stages and RBGE have held a series of Public Consultations at the Gardens.
More information will follow as it becomes available.
Published on 19 February 2019.
Information from the last Public Consultation (31 January)
- 4 December 2018: Local - Nursery
- 1 March 2019: Major - Garden
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