PlantNetwork Conference 2019

Climate Change and Gardens: PlantNetwork Conference 2019

8-9 May 2019 at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Dorset

Climate change can be a politically divisive subject. Irrespective of the causes of climate change, horticulturists in Britain and Ireland are undoubtedly seeing the effects of a changing climate in their gardens, arboreta and plant collections. More extreme weather events, rising global temperatures, and changing rainfall patterns are just some of the challenges facing botanic and public gardens.  The PlantNetwork Climate Change Conference provided a platform to discuss some of the challenges facing gardens – and looked at opportunities that might also emerge.

With speakers presenting across a range of different issues from invasive ornamentals and plant health to planting choices and water management, the PlantNetwork Conference addressed a number of highly topical issues and showcased the latest research.

Speakers included:

  • Peter Gibbs, Weather Forecaster and Chair of BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time
  • Dr Helen Hoyle, Senior Lecturer in Healthy Built Environments at the University of the West of England : “Evolution in action? Public perception of non-native planting in the designed urban landscape.”
  • Stephen Griffith, Curator of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens: “Climate change and Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens”
  • Tomos Jones, NERC SCENARIO PhD student, University of Reading: “Ornamental plants: a threat to the environment due to climate change?”
  • Richard Baines, Curator of Logan Botanic Garden, RBGE: “Challenges of a changing environment”
  • Simon Toomer, National Specialist for Plant Conservation at the National Trust: “Using plant and tree selection in historical and designed landscapes to better adapt to climate change”
  • Dr Mark McCarthy, Science Manager of the National Climate Information Centre (NCIC) at the Met Office: “Strawberries at Christmas? Variability and change in UK Climate”
  • Julian Ives, Dragonfli Ltd: “New innovations & challenges for Biological control at garden sites”
  • Augusta Grand, Head of Policy, Eden Project: “Doing your bit in the climate crisis”
  • John Edmiston, Tropical Britain: “Plant Choices in a Changing Climate – Drought Tolerant Plants in a Hotter, Drier Future”
  • Mark Broadmeadow, Principal Adviser for Climate Change with the Forestry Commission: “Resilient trees: planning for the future”
  • Mark Laurence, Mark Laurence Design: “Designing landscapes for resilience and regeneration”
  • Lightning Talks speakers

A summary of the presentations and discussion is provided below and is continually being updated with new information so please visit regularly for more updates.

Further reading is also available from the Met Office blog.