Gardens urged to work together to adapt to climate change

Plant collections must work together to adapt gardens for climate change, PlantNetwork chairman Matthew Jebb said at the group's conference last week.

The meeting of UK garden managers discussed the latest climate change predictions and immediate steps for adapting plant collections.

"We need a climate of reportage where plant and other phenological observations are shared to create an early warning system for collections," said Jebb. "We've heard many instances of unusual plant behaviour and death, but have disparate data collection systems. We need minimum data standards and more accessible records to inform management decisions."

The Forestry Commission is already evaluating the best location for its plant collections, based on observed vulnerability of species to changing prevailing weather and soil conditions, including collections at Westonbirt Arboretum and Bedgebury Pinetum.

Suggestions for data-sharing included local authorities, private record holders and more practical experimentation among gardens.


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