Spend time in nature at Kew Gardens this summer with five exciting new trails as part of The Wander Project (Sat 27 May – Sun 3 Sept 2023)

LONDON, ENGLAND — This summer sees The Wander Project at Kew Gardens, a unique experience encouraging people to explore the outdoors and enjoy nature.

Evidence shows that nature can benefit both physical and mental health, with a recent study finding that people living with nature on their doorstep are more active, mentally resilient and have better all-round health.

Starting with a large installation at Kew’s main Victoria Gate entrance designed by Studio HATO, visitors will be invited to embrace an outdoor adventure and choose a trail to start their journey. A mix of inspiring leaders will help to guide visitors across a series of new trails through the Gardens, inviting people to feel, hear, move and think differently in nature. With five possible trails to choose from, visitors will be guided across Kew’s iconic sights in fun and unexpected ways. The trails entitled, Adventurer, Wanderer, Time-Traveller, Protector and Dreamer, wind their way through Kew’s 320acre UNESCO World Heritage Site, encouraging people to escape into nature and leave feeling energised, inspired and with a deeper connection to the wonderful world around them.

  • Adventurers – a trail for those who want to step out and energise in nature, featuring movement and games guiding visitors to Kew’s Treetop Walkway.
  • Wanderers – a trail for those seeking a slower pace of life, this trail guides visitors who want to take time to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and smells of nature, meandering around Kew’s lake near Syon Vista.
  • Protectors – walking through Kew Gardens is like walking through a living museum, some of the most precious and near-extinct plants in the world are found here. This trail is made up of contributions from those who are listening closely to nature, finding ways to contribute to a healthier future for all and guides visitors around Kew’s Temperate House, the world’s largest surviving glasshouse which is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year.
  • Dreamers – for those wanting to shift perceptions and find different views by exploring Kew’s vistas, this trail guides visitors from awe of the Waterlily House and behind the Palm House, taking in the wonder of Syon Vista and Pagoda Vista.
  • Time Travellers – an enticing trail which guides visitors around Kew’s giant Redwoods and beyond. With moments of reflections and games, there’s plenty to feed hungry minds here.

Scientists at Kew are working hard to highlight just how vital nature is for securing our access to clean air and water, nutritious food, medicines, and clothing. However, a phenomenon called ‘green blindness’ which is an inability to see plants and fungi as wildlife, means plants and fungi are often overlooked when it comes to wildlife conservation. Spending time in nature at Kew Gardens this summer aims to prompt visitors to really see the diversity of plants around them and notice individual differences.

Without plants and fungi there is no life on Earth and yet, scientists are in a race against time to protect nature from the biodiversity crisis. Globally, as many as 2 in 5 plants are threatened with extinction – species are often lost faster than they are described. Many of the threatened and endangered plants can be seen at Kew as part of our conservation efforts in our glasshouse collections.

Glasshouse anniversaries

The Palm House celebrates its 175th anniversary and is dedicated to the Earth’s tropical regions recreating the magic of the rainforest. Home to many plants which are endangered or extinct in the wild, the Palm House also features the world’s oldest pot plant in the world (Encephalartos altensteinii) and plants of huge value to societies around the world such as the rubber tree, African palm, and the cocoa tree.

The world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse, The Temperate House, celebrates its 160th anniversary this year. Featuring over 10,000 plants from temperate regions of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific Islands, all the plants need to live in conditions above 10 degrees to survive.

The Wander Project at Kew Gardens runs from 27th May to 3rd September 2023. Ticket prices include £1 ticket offer for those in receipt of Pension Credit, Universal Credit or other Legacy Benefits, as well as a £9 young person’s ticket for those 16-29 and savings for day paying visitors if tickets are booked in advance at kew.org, as well as discounted tickets for arrivals after 4pm.

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