What is the Edinburgh Biomes project?

  • Arguably the most visionary and exciting project of the Garden’s 350-year history, Edinburgh Biomes will avoid the catastrophic loss of up to 6,000 species by restoring the public and research Glasshouses and deliver world-leading facilities that will protect the work of this national institution for the future.

    Restoring the Glasshouses

    The Garden’s Grade-A listed Victorian Palm Houses and 1960’s 'front-range' Glasshouses, as well as behind-the-scenes research houses require extensive refurbishment. Their restoration will ensure the Glasshouses continue to provide a safe environment for the Garden’s priceless plant collection.

    Saving our plant collection

    Comprising over 13,500 plant species, RBGE’s collection includes many plants that are endangered or extinct in their native habitats. In the Glasshouses alone, there are 6,000 different species.

    New facilities

    Planned to take shape through a progression of stages over seven years, Edinburgh Biomes will also include new facilities including an efficient, cost-effective energy centre, that will significantly reduce the Garden’s carbon emissions and a new plant health hub which will provide a safe bio-secure propagation environment. Read our FAQs for more information.


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An introduction to Edinburgh Biomes

Read video transcript
Video Transcript
Time Description
I'm Simon Milne. I'm the 16th Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and I'm standing in front of the epicenter of the Edinburgh Biomes program.
Edinburgh Biomes will ensure that that collection is protected for the future. It's restoring the magnificent listed glasshouses we have. The 1967 modernist glasshouse known as The Spine, that will be completely renovated, all the glass taken out, all the plants taken out, all the heating taken out, completely restored, and a whole new visitor journey through those glasshouses that will be put in place. It's about creating new facilities, new facilities for the next generation of researchers, the next generation of horticulturists. And it's also about making the visitor experience so much better. And the crowning glory of Edinburgh Biomes is this amazing new building called The Frond. It's designed very much inspired by nature, and this will provide a new opening for our visitors to the Glasshouse experience, and a much better experience, enable people to get much closer to plants.
Edinburgh Biomes is the biggest project, and I would say the most important project in the garden's history, and we very much want you to be part of that. Please come aboard.

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Frequently Asked Questions