Cover A high brown fritillary pollinating a scabious by Peter Entwistle/FLPA
5 Direction Kew’s director invites you to this summer’s programme of events celebrating biodiversity
6 Kew news The latest from all Kew’s gardens, including members’ news
12 Cuttings A round-up of plant science news by Stephanie Pain
54 Wakehurst view Andrew Jackson takes you into the woods in search of dormice
60 What’s on Lots to do this summer at Kew and Wakehurst Place
72 Last word Plants and biodiversity must be added to the science curriculum, argues Ginny Page
It won’t take you long to notice that this issue of Kew magazine is unashamedly a celebration of biodiversity and Kew’s work to help document, conserve and restore the amazing variety of plants on Earth.
Over the past five decades, our natural world has changed at a faster rate than at any other time in human history, as we use its resources for our needs in ever greater quantities. The statistics are pretty dismal and it’s easy to think that there’s nothing we can do to change this decline in precious habitats and species. However, we must also remember that there’s a wealth of organisations and individuals around the world dedicated to making a difference. Kew is one such organisation – full of people who know that by working with partners across the world and by making knowledge accessible to all we can conserve our irreplaceable plant diversity.
This issue aims to get to the heart of what biodiversity is (page 16) and how you can enjoy it and celebrate it at Kew and Wakehurst this year. The more we can appreciate the variety and wonder of the natural world, and know its value, the more we’ll want to protect it. We head into the wild areas at Kew and Wakehurst (pages 38 and 54) to see how biodiversity is cared for and encouraged. Iain Parkinson tells us about the new projects being set up at Wakehurst to study the honeybee – the most important pollinator on Earth (page 34), while Sandra Bell talks us through some of the many fascinating pollinators you can look out for at Kew this summer (page 52).
Horticulturist David Shipp reveals how a trip to a South African biodiversity hotspot inspired the vibrant design for the Palm House Parterre this summer (page 22), while Ambra Edwards discovers how Kew is helping children develop a life-long love of plants (page 48).
Plants are vital to life on Earth, but they’re also beautiful, fascinating and exciting. So join us in our celebrations this year – for further details, check out our new-look What’s On section (page 60), as well as the Kew website (www.kew.org).
CHRISTINA HARRISON Editor
Kew magazine is published by the Royal Botanic Gardens,Kew, which works around the world to save plants, fungi and their habitats. With your support,Kew can make a real difference.
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