Kew Gardens, Richmond, London TW9 3AB
T 020-8332 5655 E
Wakehurst, Ardingly, W. Sussex RH17 6TN
T 01444-894066 E
Kew Gardens was originally laid out as a private garden for the now demolished White House for George III’s mother, Princess Augusta, in 1759. The gardens were much enlarged in the 19th century, notably by the inclusion of the grounds of the former Richmond Lodge. In 1965 Kew acquired the gardens at Wakehurst on a long lease from the National Trust. Under the National Heritage Act 1983 a board of trustees was set up to administer the gardens, which in 1984 became an independent body supported by grant-in-aid from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Total grant in aid for 2017–18 was £40.8m.
The functions of RBG, Kew are to carry out research into plant sciences, to disseminate knowledge about plants and to provide the public with the opportunity to gain knowledge and enjoyment from the gardens’ collections. There are extensive national reference collections of living and preserved plants and a comprehensive library and archive. The main emphasis is on plant conservation and biodiversity; Wakehurst houses the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, which is the largest ex situ conservation project in the world – its aim is to bank seeds from 25 per cent of the earth's wild plant species by 2020.
Chair, Marcus Agius
Trustees, Nick Baird; Prof. Liam Dolan; Catherine Dugmore; Sarah Flannigan; Valerie Gooding; Krishnan Guru-Murthy; Prof. Sue Hartley; Ian Karet; Jantiene Klein Roseboom van der Veer; Michael Lear; Sir Derek Myers; Prof. Malcolm Press
Director, Richard Deverell