Last year was the CUBG’s busiest ever, with a record 345, 251 visitors enjoying the Garden’s 40 acres and living plant collection.
CUBG Director Beverley Glover says:
“It’s been a joy to welcome so many visitors to the Garden, especially after the challenging last few years. During and since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Garden has become a place of wellbeing for many – a calm, reflective and beautiful haven to escape the seemingly endless chaos that’s has been unfolding around the world. Our green city-centre space has been a place to meet friends; create memories with family; connect with nature; and be inspired and uplifted by our diverse plant collection and the ever-changing landscape of colour, sound and scents.”
The Garden’s previous highest number of visitors was pre-lockdown in 2019, when 334,455 people visited. Last year, 2022, was the first time since COVID-19 that the Garden was able to offer a full programme of on-site activity – school visits returned, adult learning courses and workshops took place in the Garden again (after moving online during the pandemic), as well as the return of the Garden’s programme of annual events, including the Festival of Plants, the season of Sounds Green live music and Apple Day.
It’s been a joy to welcome so many visitors to the Garden, especially after the challenging last few years.
“Not only has it been uplifting to see so many of our Friends and visitors enjoy the Garden, these record figures show the importance of green space and connecting with plants for mental and physical well-being. We’ve received many messages of gratitude and support reinforcing this and we hope that the Garden continues to play this important part in our community’s lives.”
The Garden’s visitor numbers have been rising steadily over the last 10 years, tripling from around 100,000 a year since 2001. As well as being a place of wellbeing, the Garden’s core role is to support plant science research and teaching within the University of Cambridge and to support worldwide conservation and research, as scientists work to overcome many of the world’s global challenges such as mitigating climate change, food shortages and developing medicines.
2023 will see this work continue: “We’re working hard to meet the goals of our Living Collection Strategy: bringing in new plants from around the world, increasing the proportion of our collection that’s rare in horticulture or endangered in the wild, and giving people the chance to engage with truly extraordinary plants” says Beverley.
This record visitor figure shows the Garden’s success with one of its main goals: to engage as many people as possible, and of all ages, with the living world of plants. At the same time, the income streams generated by visitors help support the core missions of developing the collection as a powerhouse for plant science research for decades to come, to help researchers learn as much as possible about how plants work and to share this with the public in a number of ways.
Income raised from Admissions contributes to the work of the Garden’s Learning team, which supports learning about the amazing world of plants from preschool to retirement. Recently, the Garden’s Community Programme has been relaunched, enabling community groups to visit the Garden, socialise, be active and learn together in beautiful surroundings.
Beverley concludes: “This is a wonderful start to the New Year, as income generated from visits enables us to continue to offer a full programme of events for a wide range of interests and for all ages.”
“We want to say thank you to everyone – our Friends, visitors, social media followers, researchers, students, guides, volunteers and staff – everyone who makes this a wonderful place to visit and work in, giving the Garden its unique spirit. Put simply, together they keep the Garden growing.”