Barenbrug grass seed used in Edinburgh Zoo panda enclosure

Barenbrug UK has supplied its BAR 50 SOS grass seed mix for the UK’s only giant panda enclosure, at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo.

Tian Tian in the enclosure. ​Image:
Tian Tian in the enclosure. ​Image:

In the winter of 2011, when the pandas arrived in the UK, the custom-built enclosure needed help to maintain grass cover.

Simon Jones, sustainability manager at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said: "On a horticultural front, the two outdoor giant panda enclosures have lots of shade and clay substrate, which makes for poor plant drainage. Add the weight of two 100kg plus pandas padding around, and the ground becomes very compacted. Grass cover becomes more of a challenge."

Simon turned to Dr David Greenshields, Barenbrug research and development manager, for advice.

He said: "We recommended BAR 50 SOS because of its ability to renovate permanent turf areas quickly and in very cold temperatures. It’s perfect for leisure and facilities professionals, who need a high-performance mix that solves specific challenges. Critical for people, like Simon, who have a limited establishment window."

BAR 50 SOS germinates down to 3.5°C and grows faster than any other seed at low temperatures.

The pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang—on loan from the Chinese government, since 2011—are both under close scrutiny as the world eagerly awaits news of a potential pregnancy.

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