Ness Botanic Gardens

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Address and contact details
Neston Road, Ness, Cheshire, CH64 4AY
Tel: 0151 3530123
Web site:
Latitude: 53° 16' 27" N
Longitude: 3° 02' 45" W
Background to the collection
Year founded:1898
Ownership:University of Liverpool
Garden code:LIVU
Umbrella organisation:University of Liverpool
Director: Matthew Clough
Garden & Collections Manager: Nick Lightfoot
Business Manager: Zoe Chapman
Botanist: Tim Baxter
Head Gardener: Phil Kay
Contact person: Matthew Clough
Total Staff:22
Total Horticultural Staff:7
Physical environment
Altitude:30 m
Soil type:Clay, sand and loam
Total area:26 ha
Weather recordsWeather Station on site run by National Centre for Atmospheric Science, see
Average daily:9.9 °C
Av. monthly max:13.8 °C
Av. monthly min:6.5 °C
Absolute maximum:32.5 °C
Absolute minimum:-12.9 °C
Strength:Above average
Average annual:750 mm
Month of maximum:September
Month of minimum:June
Plant collection
Notable plants within the collection:
Sorbus carmesina (type) Sorbus kongboensis (type) Sorbus rehderiana Sorbus amoena Sorbus fansipanensis (type) Sorbus bulleyana (type) Sorbus cinereopubescens (type) Sorbus ellipsoidalis (type) Sorbus epidendron Sorbus forrestii (type) Sorbus gonggashanica (type) Sorbus helenae Sorbus matsumurana Sorbus leyana Sorbus needhamii Sorbus parva (type) Sorbus parvifructa (type) Sorbus rosea (type) Sorbus lanata Sorbus rushforthii (type) Sorbus yuana Betula ashburneri (type) Betula insignis ssp. vietnamensis Betula bomiensis Betula cylindrostachya Betula chichibuensis Betula michauxii Betula delavayi Betula calcicola Betula potaninii Betula maximowicziana Betula murrayana Betula megrelica Betula medwediewii Alnus acuminata ssp. acuminata Alnus nepalensis Alnus inokumae Ilex linii Lindera praetermissa
Geographical area(s) of specialisation:
Northern Europe, Middle Europe, Southeastern Europe, East Europe, Northern Africa, Macaronesia, Southern Africa, Siberia, Soviet Far East, Soviet Middle Asia, Caucasus, Western Asia, China, Eastern Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Indo-China, Australia, New Zealand, Subarctic America, Western Canada, Eastern Canada, Northwestern USA, North-Central USA, Northeastern USA, Southwestern USA, Southeastern USA, North and Central Mexico, Northern South America, Southern South America
Special families within the collections:
Pinaceae, Aceraceae, Agavaceae, Alismataceae, Amaranthaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Anacardiaceae, Apocynaceae, Aquifoliaceae, Araliaceae, Begoniaceae, Berberidaceae, Betulaceae, Boraginaceae, Bromeliaceae, Buddlejaceae, Cactaceae, Campanulaceae, Cercidiphyllaceae, Cistaceae, Compositae, Cornaceae, Cupressaceae, Davidiaceae, Droseraceae, Elaeocarpaceae, Ericaceae, Eucommiaceae, Eucryphiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Gentianaceae, Ginkgoaceae, Helwingiaceae, Iridaceae, Labiatae, Liliaceae, Primulaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, Sarraceniaceae, Taxodiaceae, Tetracentraceae, Trochodendraceae
Special genera within the collections:
Sorbus s.l., Betula, Cotoneaster, Alnus, Rhododendron, Santolina, Hedera, Acer, Ilex, Salix, Primula, Berberis, Fraxinus, Spiraea
Special collections:
Conifers, ICCP – 10 Genera, 14 Species, 14 Taxa, 24 Accessions, 30 Plants
Alnus, Univ – 32 Species, 33 Taxa, 50 Accessions, 150 Plants.
Betula, Univ. – 44 Species, 50 Taxa, 166 Accessions, 400 Plants.
Cotoneaster, Univ. – 70 Species, 80 Taxa, 100 Accessions, 300 Plants.
Sorbus Univ. – 60 Species, 100 Taxa, 150 Accessions, 350 Plants.
National willow collection, ex. Long Ashton. – 36 Species, 56 Taxa, 400 Accessions, 800 Plants
TARGET 8 PROJECT TAXON LIST   UK Red Data List 2005SAP lead partnerWELSH Red Data List 2008IRISH Red Data List 1987IRISH Red Data List 2005TARGET 8 PROJECT datasheetGarden(s)
Cerastium alpinum
Alpine Mouse-ear
B W VU CR T8 Ness
Chester Zoo
Cotoneaster cambricus
Cotoneaster integerrimus
CC Wales
CR T8 Ness
Chester Zoo
NBG Wales
Damasonium alisma
T8 Ness
Chester Zoo
Luronium natans
Floating Water-plantain
British Waterways
Chester Zoo
Potamogeton compressus
Grass-wrack Pondweed
British Waterways
VU T8 Ness
Chester Zoo
Salix lapponum
Downy Willow
B VU T8 Dundee BG
RBG Dawyck
Chester Zoo
Stellaria palustris
Marsh Stitchwort
B W I VU VU T8 Ness
Record Keeping:Records kept
Record System:IrisBG
Facilities on site
Herbarium:Yes, with wild collected and cultivated specimens. Code LIVU in Index Herbariorum
Research facilities:General biological laboratories
Publications:Garden catalogue, Index seminum, garden guide
Identifications:Undertakes free identifications for the general public. Internal verification of material
Teaching and Education:Primary, secondary, higher, taxonomic and public education
Interpretation:Supervised garden walks, signs, brochures, guided trails
Friends Organisation:Yes
Approx 5,500
Visitor facilities:Restaurant, café, plant shop, gift shop, book shop
Access to the collections
Public access:Admission charge
Public opening hours:Mon-Sun: 10am-dusk
Guiding principles behind the collection
To be recognised as a world-ranked centre of excellence in plant science, conservation and applied environmental science, co-operating with other botanic gardens and research stations throughout the world. To form positive and constructive links with local, regional communities and to contribute to and support local regional developments in plant and environmental science. To collaborate with other University Departments to enhance the University of Liverpool's standing in teaching and research. To maintain first-class displays of plants of national and international importance, which are open to the public for enjoyment. To develop visitor services at Ness so that it remains a high-profile tourist attraction. To educate school children, students and the general public via guided tours, lectures and other means.
Location map

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