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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh unveils refurbishment plan

The historic existing glasshouse facilities require extensive restoration.

Upgrade: The existing glasshouse facilities need to be repaired.
Upgrade: The existing glasshouse facilities need to be repaired. PA

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has unveiled major plans to refurbish its glasshouses and protect its plant collection for the future.

RBGE said its existing glasshouse facilities - including the Grade A-listed Victorian Palm Houses and 1960s visitor and research glasshouses - require extensive restoration.

The Edinburgh Biomes proposal will secure the garden's work for future generations and provide a new visitor experience for the public, it said.

RBGE is home to more than 13,500 plant species, including many that are endangered or extinct in their native habitats.

Simon Milne, RBGE Regius Keeper, said: "Our heritage glasshouses need extensive restoration to save them for the nation.

"Our research glasshouses, critical to the work we do in Scotland and around the world, are well beyond their lifespan and are already suffering during extreme weather.

"They will only survive a few more years without essential upgrades. As the seasons pass, the risks are increasing, so prompt action is necessary."

Spectacular: The glasshouses of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Spectacular: The glasshouses of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. PA

The proposals are at an early stage and RBGE will hold public consultations at the gardens on November 22 and January 10, and a major fundraising campaign is planned.

If approved, the refurbishment will be carried out over several years to allow for the relocation of seasonally sensitive plants.

Mr Milne added: "As part of this project and as guardians of one of the world's most significant scientific and horticultural resources, we will redevelop our facilities to sustain RBGE as a leader in plant science, horticulture, biodiversity, education and conservation and ensure our collection thrives for generations to come."

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