How PlantNetwork can benefit your organisation


PlantNetwork (formerly known as PlantNet) is the national network of botanic gardens, arboreta and other documented plant collections,

  • Promoting botanical collections in Britain and Ireland as a national resource for research, conservation and education, and
  • Facilitating networking and training among holders of plant collections through a programme of conferences and workshops and a regular newsletter.

PlantNetwork was launched in 1996 and liaises with a range of national and international organisations, including the Botanic Gardens Education Network, European Botanic Gardens Consortium and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. A regular programme of conferences, Technical Training days and Forum meetings take place throughout the year (see overleaf for recent examples).

As a member, you will receive:

  • regular news and information from botanic gardens, arboreta and holders of other documented plant collections in Britain and Ireland
  • invitations to special conferences, workshops and training sessions
  • advice and support for yourself and others in your organisation
  • opportunities to take part in collaborative activities with other botanic and heritage gardens and arboreta.

In addition you will be supporting and participating in a number of our national activities that are both of benefit to you as a collection and also ensure that you are actively involved in strengthening, enhancing and developing the sector in which we all work. The following PlantNetwork projects will all become part of your own Garden’s activities when you join PlantNetwork.

Forum groups

A number of special-interest forum groups hold regular one-day practical workshops to allow members to meet, compare notes and discuss problems. These meetings are open to PlantNetwork members only. The Plant Records Group addresses issues of record-keeping, data management, mapping and all matters associated with documenting plant collections. The Tree Forum discusses arboriculture, arboreta and all matters sylvicultural. The Glasshouse Forum brings together those involved in cultivating plants under glass. The Propagation Forum is the most recent group and shares experience in all aspects of plant propagation.

Promoting collections

PlantNetwork is assisting with the interpretation and understanding of international legislation, and appreciation of best practice, in the management and development of botanical collections. Emerging issues are dealt with at conferences or forum meetings, which are held twice a year.

Addressing the skills’ shortage

The historic and botanic garden and public park sectors are facing a major crisis in recruitment, retention and succession, which could lead to a decline of the sector in 15–20 years. PlantNetwork has initiated a major review of the entire botanical and heritage sector, which is being led by English Heritage. A bursary scheme is being proposed as part of the Heritage Lottery Scheme, giving access to training opportunities.

Plant Diversity Challenge

PlantNetwork is committed to incorporating the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation into all its programmes and policies, and to reporting back through Plant Diversity Challenge. We are specifically responding to a number of these targets:

  • Providing methods for plant conservation based on best-practice by establishing an on-line Cultivation and Propagation Database for Red-Data-Book species of Britain & Ireland.
  • Linking ex situ and in situ conservation of the British and Irish flora through a Target 8 Project carried out for PlantNetwork by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The project aims to:
    • assess what is already in cultivation (this preliminary stage is already nearing completion)
    • increase the numbers of gardens growing endangered plants in order to:
          a) assist current conservation projects
          b) develop horticultural knowledge of threatened species
        c) tell the public about the flora of Britain and Ireland and its conservation
  • bridge the ex situ / in situ divide, using horticultural knowledge to support academic and practical conservation measures.

Recent meetings

Click here for a list of previous meetings.

Further information

Contact us

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