Kew celebrates International Year of Biodiversity with summer of events

Kew reveals butterfly zones, art exhibitions and a children's landscape for International Year of Biodiversity

The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is celebrating the UN International Year of Biodiversity throughout the summer, with a collection of events and features looking at plant pollination.

Kew director Stephen Hopper said: "This summer we are celebrating the relationship between flowering plants and their pollinators with a stunning butterfly collection in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Pollinators play a critical role in maintaining their biological communities and ultimately biodiversity - the intricate web of life on which we all depend. This fantastic display in the glasshouse and a new interactive play area will teach children the influence that pollinators have on their favourite plants, down to their shape and colour. Learning whilst they play in Kew's beautiful surroundings, they will embark on a biodiversity adventure, gaining a glimpse into a field of study still being explored by scientists at Kew and elsewhere today."

Events include Butterflies, Bugs and Beasties at Kew's Princess of Wales Conservatory. This will include three butterfly zones, one with tropical orchids, another with ferns and one with sweet nectar beds. Large scale sculptures of insects, birds and bats with visual and audio interpretation in the conservatory will explain the relationships between flowering plants and their pollinators.

Meanwhile, PLANTastic Play is a new children's landscape, shaped like a plant, and nestled in the grounds of Queen Charlotte's Cottage in Kew's Conservation Zone.

The Nash Conservatory will host a photographic exhibition of images from wildlife photographer Heather Angel's book, Wild Kew

Chris Watson's Whispering in the Leaves is a Palm House sound-art installation inspired by the rainforests of South and Central America through the recorded sounds of their native wildlife.

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