Getting science into every garden event


Back to presentations: Science in Gardens

Lorraine Cheesmur, Head of Programmes and Learning, and Ed Ikin, Head of Landscape & Horticulture, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew at Wakehurst

Lorraine’s career started in stage management, touring across the UK with companies such as Shakespeare’s Globe, The Chuckle Brothers and Red Shift. She moved onto a variety of management roles, including Events and Communications for Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Visitor Experience for the Southbank Centre and General Manager for Betteshanger Country Park. She now manages the programming, interpretation and learning at Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden. Her passion is to collaborate widely across an organisation to deliver the most dynamic and inclusive content possible.

Ed oversees the curation and development of the 535-acre estate. Ed was previously General Manager for National Trust London, Head Gardener at Nymans (National Trust) and Assistant Head Gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden. He has a BSc in Biology, MA in Garden History, RHS Master of Horticulture and is currently an 17/ 18 Clore Fellow.

Kew’s Science Strategy (download)

Kew’s scientific vision is to document and understand global plant and fungal diversity and its uses, bringing authoritative expertise to bear on the critical challenges facing humanity today.
The core purpose of Kew’s science stems from a simple but often overlooked truth: all our lives depend on plants. There are three strategic priorities:

  1. To document and conduct research into global plant and fungal diversity and its uses for humanity.
  2. To curate and provide data-rich evidence from Kew’s unrivalled collections as a global asset for scientific research.
  3. To disseminate our scientific knowledge of plants and fungi, maximising its impact in science, education, conservation policy and management.

These priorities enable Kew to curate, use, enhance, explore and share Kew’s global resource, providing robust data and a strong evidence base for our and global stakeholders. In addressing the priorities, Kew will achieve the following strategic outputs:

  • Plants of the World Online portal
  • State of the World’s Plants
  • Tropical Important Plant Areas
  • The Plant and Fungal Trees of Life
  • Banking the World’s Seeds
  • Useful Plants and Fungi Portal
  • Digitising the Collections
  • Training the Next Generation of Plant and Fungal Scientists
  • Science in the Gardens

These outputs will be led by multidisciplinary teams and facilitated by the structure of Kew’s Science Directorate consisting of six research departments supported by the Office of the Science Directorate, and Library, Art & Archives. The research departments are:

  • Collections
  • Identification and Naming
  • Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology
  • Conservation Science
  • Natural Capital and Plant Health
  • Biodiversity Informatics and Spatial Analysis

With this new vision and strategy, Kew aims to make our scientific resources a global asset, bringing benefits to science, conservation policy and education worldwide.