Building the Future
Plants provide the air we breathe, the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the medicines we need. Many of the solutions to the challenges of our time rely on plants: climate change, food security, biodiversity loss and human health. The effects of global change now threaten the survival of two in five plant species. If we do not foster a greater care and awareness of the importance of plants, we have no hope of addressing these challenges. Yet many people scarcely even notice them: 'Plant Blindness' is a growing problem.
A new Visitor and Learning Centre for Harcourt Arboretum will build partnerships with local communities, and work with Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry and social prescribing partnership to increase wellbeing through access to nature. Creating new all-weather education facilities, café and shop will transform the visitor experience. Read more here.
Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum's mission is to use its living collections to communicate to the widest possible audience how our future depends on plants. Following decades without investment in physical infrastructure, new glasshouses are central to the delivery of this mission. They will be a hub from which to communicate this message at all levels, from schoolchildren to the public, through the immersive experience of a tropical ecosystem in the centre of Oxford.
Working in partnership with Grimshaw Architects, the visually stunning new glasshouses will feature a rainforest as their centrepiece. The new Rainforest in Oxford will astonish visitors with its ‘botanical enigmas’ – plants that have never been grown before, which are a research and conservation focus at the Garden.