Kew Gardens Richmond is a botanic garden in south-west London that houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world. The Kew Gardens Richmond site, which has been dated as formally starting in 1759, can be traced further back to the exotic garden at Kew Park, formed by Henry, Lord Capell of Tewkesbury.
Founded in 1840, its living collections includes some of the 27,000 taxa curated by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; while the herbarium, which is one of the largest in the world, has over 8.5 million preserved plant and fungal specimens. The library contains more than 750,000 volumes, and the illustrations’ collection contains more than 175,000 prints and drawings of plants.
It consists of 132 hectares (330 acres) of gardens and botanical glasshouses, four Grade I listed buildings, and 36 Grade II listed structures, all set in an internationally significant landscape. Because of this, it is listed Grade I on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
The scientists and horticulturalists working for Kew are at the heart of the UK’s effort to sustain and develop rare and endangered species. Kew also owns Wakefield Place in Sussex. Visiting both sites is well worth the effort. It will help fully understand the depth of learning that exists within this country about what is needed to ensure a greener future.
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