The Peachey family from Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, became the Garden’s record breaking visitors this weekend.
CUBG’s Director, Beverley Glover, says: “We were delighted to welcome the Peachey family from Fenstanton at the weekend. It was their first visit to the Garden and they told us they’d always wanted to come. It’s lovely they chose to spend the morning here exploring our 40 acres and we hope they had a wonderful first visit and, as with all our visitors, that they will come back to see the Garden during another season too.”
The family were given complimentary admission to mark the milestone record along with a Guide Book to the Garden.
The Garden’s visitors numbers have been rising steadily over the last 10 years, tripling from around 100,000 per year since 2001.
“Our visitors are very important to us and reaching this record figure is living proof that we are succeeding with one of our main goals – to engage as many people as possible and of all ages, with the living world of plants.”
Beverley says: “Our visitors are very important to us and reaching this record figure is living proof that we are succeeding with one of our 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 our visitors help support our core mission of developing our collection as a powerhouse for plant science research for decades to come, to help researchers learn as much as possible about how plants work.”
The Garden’s main role is to support plant science teaching and research within the University of Cambridge. Plant material is also sent out worldwide for research purposes.
Income raised from Admissions also helps support the work of the Garden’s Learning team. Their work includes working with schools in many different ways, supporting them from preschool to undergraduate level and inspiring them about horticulture. They are also responsible for developing seasonal trails for families visiting the Garden, along with drop-in family activities each month and working on other University-wide events such as Twilight, Summer at the Museums, Festival of Ideas and the Science Festival. A wide-ranging adult courses and learning programme – with courses ranging from plant identification, garden history, botanical art to creative and wellbeing events – is also curated and run by the Learning team.
Beverley concludes: “We love seeing so many people of all ages and from gardening novices to experts being curious about plants and inspired by them. We see the Garden as an outdoor laboratory and classroom, a great introduction to the natural world and a place to learn more about plants. We look forward to welcoming new faces as well as our regular visitors in 2019 when we will have another year packed full of events and activities to enjoy as well as appreciating the calm and beauty of the Garden through the seasons. It will be a special year in particular for the Winter Garden as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of its creation in its current form.”