Above – Kew, London
Globally important conservation and science under threat at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew due to government cuts – £5M deficit will lead to loss of over 120 posts
Please sign the petition at:
The UK Government need to urgently reverse the existing cuts to Kew’s annual operating grant in aid funding, and to cancel the proposed and any further future cuts.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with sites at Kew Gardens, London and Wakehurst Place, Sussex is a world-leader in conservation and botanical science, with over 250 years of historical excellence in these fields.
Never before has Kew faced such a significant threat to its future. It now needs your help to ensure its globally-important plant and fungal collections can continue to be used to support plant and fungal science and conservation around the world.
In 1983, 90 per cent of Kew’s funding came from the UK Government as grant in aid. The current amount has dropped to below 40 per cent as of this year. Funding was reduced by £0.9M in 2009-10, £1M in 2010-11, and by an extra £0.5M year-on-year thereafter (see here).
Kew has now been told to expect further cuts of at least another £1.5M before the end of 2016.
Under the 1983 National Heritage Act, the UK Government committed to ensure that Kew is adequately resourced to fulfil its statutory obligations, which include: research; providing advice and education; plant-related services including quarantine; caring for world-renowned scientific collections, as national reference collections available for study; and as a resource for the public to gain knowledge and enjoy. The UK Government is no longer fulfilling its role to allow Kew to meet these obligations.
Kew has been dramatically increasing income from non-government funding streams through the work of their partner charity Kew Foundation, and via commercially-generated income, consultancy work, and research funding. Although there are plans to extend these efforts, they are no longer able to keep up with the rate of cuts in government funding and many areas of Kew’s work are not easily resourced externally.
Due to the cuts, Kew has announced that with a £5M deficit for this year, over 120 posts will be axed. The majority of posts will be lost in the areas of science and public engagement (report here.) In specialist careers measured in decades of experience, Kewwill lose dedicated, expert staff, and whole areas of work are likely to be halted.
As Sir David Attenborough was recently quoted as saying:
“Kew has an absolutely crucial role in looking after our botanical heritage and our botanical future. The important thing to remember is that it is the premiere botanical gardens in the world scientifically. People who think it is just a place to go to look at pretty flowers and flower beds are mistaking the importance of Kew Gardens. The Seed Bank is of world importance and it should be supported by the Government like a proper institution or university and the continuing idea that Kew Gardens is merely a playground and that you just put up the prices to look after it is a misguided assessment of the value of Kew. The Government and the scientific departments should recognise that and support it properly.”
Please show your support for Kew, and their continuing work for future generations, by signing this petition, and please encourage others to do the same.
Please sign the petition at:
As an Englishman and a plant and tree person; I have had the pleasure of visiting Kew and Wakehurst several times. I was privileged to have helped donate to the formation of the seed bank at Wakehurst.
To see what the UK government are now trying to do just for the sake of saving a few pounds is something which I would simply call a global, ecological and environmental disaster. Cameron and his lap dog cronies care not a toss for animal, environmental and other issues that many of us put at the top of our list. Cameron and his cronies are driven by just one thing – money – all the rest of the worlds issues can go to hell as far as he is concerned. The man is a prime fool.
Visit the Kew website at http://www.kew.org/
Watch a year at Kew – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUooTA9T8Vo
and more sub issues by clicking on the links on the right side of the video footage.
The money crazy Conservatives are the fools who are behind this campaign to destroy a world class centre which houses one of the greatest botanical research centres on the planet.
Owen Paterson and David Cameron –
Destroyers of the wonderful services provided by Kew and Wakehurst
For non-UK visitors,
Kew Gadens comprises two fabulous centres – the main botanical gardens in central London and also its sister offshoot – named Wakehurst Place, which is located out of London in the South East of England. Wakehurst is home to the world famous seed bank where thousands upon thousands of plant seeds are stored in perfect conditions for the future, should those plants ever become extinct in their natural environment. The seed bank at Wakehurst; part of Kew gardens, is one of the greatest treasures that this planet can hold.
Above: Wakehurst – the ‘other’ part of Kew.
The seed bank at Wakehurst
Save Kew – please sign this petition.