The Project

In a world where 40% of plant species are under threat, botanic gardens have never been more needed or their mission more urgent.

Our restoration of our iconic Palm Houses will showcase the world of plants under glass, and seek to address the twin threats of the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis

Palm House at sunset

We have embarked on an ambitious restoration programme.

With all your donations being doubled, even a small donation makes a big difference. 

Each pane of glass will be replaced with energy efficient robust glass – reducing our carbon footprint and the costs of running the Palm Houses. It will ensure that the precious plants within are protected, as well as cutting down on closures for the public due to adverse weather. 

We will be bringing back exquisite species of plants, some rare and under threat in their native habitats. The Palm Houses will be opened as one space for the first time since 1871.

They will house a temperate rainforest (including fernery) with new pathways to lead visitors through. The new visitor experience will inspire a new generation, as well as welcome and awe those who are returning.

Sadie with sable tree seedling

This restoration is more than architectural revival; it's a commitment to our future. From children to global explorers, our revitalized Palm Houses will be a living classroom, showcasing the beauty and importance of these exquisite plants.

Picture yourself strolling through a temperate rainforest, guided by new pathways that lead you through a journey of discovery. Here, the key themes of conservation and climate solutions will unfold, inviting everyone to be a part of something bigger.

The challenge:

Graphic of hand holding soil with plant growing out of it


plants to care for in new homes, ready for coming back

Graphic of a Palm House window


panes of glass to replace

graphics of plants growing


metres sq of rusted ironwork to refurbish

Treasures Under Glass

fern frond

The Palm Houses and our Living Collection

RBGE is home to one of the world's richest collections of living plants with more than 130,000 plants in our care, and 13,500 distinct species in cultivation built up over centuries from across the globe.

These Grade A Listed Heritage buildings are instrumental in documenting the past, nurturing the present and protecting the future. They, along with the research Glasshouses, are home to 30% of our unique plant collection and enable us to protect against a loss of genetic diversity, and reduce the risk of extinction for species threatened in the wild.


Find out more about the history of the Palm Houses

How you can help


  • Donate - We have been able to secure matched funding for the first £50,000 raised. However much you are able to give will make a big difference


  • Share - Tell others about the appeal, share our campaign on social media when you see it


  • Raise funds - You could do a bake sale, an active challenge or even a plant sale!


Empty interior of the Palm Houses

Follow our campaign

You can follow the progress of our campaign on all the social media channels. You can also sign up to the RBGE newsletter.

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