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K e w
P h o t o s : R B G
4 Spring at Kew Enjoy the highlights of the season around the Gardens
9 Kew news All the latest news from Kew and the Friends
15 Direction Why botanical gardens are beacons of hope
16 Cuttings A round-up of the latest plant science stories
62 What’s on Lots to do this spring at Kew and Wakehurst Place
72 Opinion The importance of communicating science to the public
C o n t e n t s
Welcome to the new-look Kew magazine. This fresh, contemporary design has been developed as a result of our reader survey last year, an extensive members’ survey, and our wish to make Kew magazine work harder for you. And the changes aren’t just skin deep – we’ve also taken steps to be more sustainable and to help more of your membership money go directly to aiding Kew’s vital work. So we’ve chosen a new format and sustainable paper, giving a lower carbon footprint. Kew magazine will also now come to you three times a year – in March, June and October – meaning you’ll get all the news and highlights of Kew’s work at the most relevant times of year. And don’t forget that you can always view the latest news and information online at www.kew.org, which is updated daily.
As well as the fresh new look, we have plenty of exciting content. In this issue we take an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at the making of the new 3D television series filmed at Kew. We find out about the latest camera technology that promises to bring us a fantastic new perspective on plants, with amazing close-ups and time-lapse techniques (p24). We also chat with its presenter, Sir David Attenborough, who explains why this is such an important project and a worthy successor to The Private Life of Plants. It was a real joy to meet David and to see how this ground-breaking new series is being put together (p22).
We also celebrate Kew’s volunteer guides, who have been introducing visitors to the wonders of Kew for 20 years (p36). Continuing on the theme of successfully communicating science, Professor Steve Jones gives us his view on why accurate science communication is so vital (p72), while we also take a look at how decades of historical correspondence from plant hunters around the world is offering many important and intriguing insights (p58).
There’s plenty to marvel at outdoors too this spring (p4). Richard Wilford takes us on a tour of Kew’s diverse collection of Narcissus (p30) and delves into the history of Wisteria (p50). Andrew Jackson reveals that some of Wakehurst’s trees are much more ancient than had previously been suspected and are shedding new light on the original house and gardens, and their place within the surrounding landscape (p56).
Meanwhile, don’t forget to come along and enjoy the spectacular International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition, which is only on site until April this year. We’ve picked out some of our favourite images to whet your appetite (p42).
I do hope you like this new-look issue and enjoy reading all our latest insights into Kew.
Christina Harrison, Editor
Check out the magazine blog at www.kew.org/kew-magazine-blog
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