Oasis of Delight
Oasis of Delight
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Glasshouses were the subject of the talk by our visitor, Simon Gulliver, during our April meeting. At present Simon is a Garden Advisor with the National Trust but was previously the Plant Collections Manager at the Botanical Gardens.
Simon described the Botanical Gardens as an independent educational charity created in 1830 and now housing 7,500 different types of plants in a range of glasshouses providing appropriate conditions and habitats for the plants to thrive. A slide show entertained us with the beautiful and exotic alongside the practical and educational. Conservation work is essential, mainly conifers at present, and have an International Conifer Conservation Programme based there. The new alpine house is also part of the conservation work as alpines are the most threatened by climate change.
The future of the Botanical Gardens is about increasing membership, creating new features and diversifying. The focus needs to be on the threats to biodiversity which includes habitat loss, pollution and climate change. Education is key to dealing with these threats and so Simon gave us a few facts to think about:
• At present we are living through the Anthropocene Era – this is the period of time during which human activities have impacted the environment enough to constitute a distinct geological change.
• We are living through the 6th great mass extinction as currently 1 in 8 plant species are threatened.
To find out more about the Botanical Gardens, their work, and how you can support them visit the website at https://www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk/#