As many of you may have seen in newspapers or on the TV the RBG experienced extensive damage in the recent gales. Below are some photographs of the damage and quotes from our Regius Keeper and Curator. The good news is the Garden is open as usual! Many barriers are in place – please respect them as the danger might not be immediately obvious and some greenhouses may remain temporarily closed for reconstruction work.
Stephen Blackmore CBE FRSE. Regius Keeper & Queen’s Botanist:
“I carried out an inspection of the damage to glasshouses and the Edinburgh garden with David Knott yesterday. It was distressing to see how much damage has been done, not just in terms of the loss of so many fine trees but also the serious impact on the research glasshouses and the priceless collections they contain.
I was, however, amazed at how quickly order is being restored and want to thank and congratulate everyone involved – staff and volunteers – for making such an outstanding effort. I felt very proud of everyone who has made this remarkable response possible: from clearing the fallen trees, to replacing the huge number of panes of glass that were broken and to picking up the shattered pieces of glass that have been carried far from the glasshouses. A huge amount of work remains to be done, of course, but I am grateful for the extraordinary effort that has been made.
I haven’t been able to get to Dawyck, Benmore or Logan but I know that we have suffered serious damage at all of the Gardens and I don’t doubt that everyone is responding with equal energy and commitment across the organisation.
Our Royal Patron, HRH the Duke of Rothesay, has expressed his concern about the storm damage and I will be sending him an update on the situation on Monday.
The storms has been an inauspicious start to the New Year but it is heartening to see how well we can respond to such challenges.”
David Knott. Curator Living Collection:
“The clear up operation from the severe weather on Tuesday is now well under way. We have lost 34 trees, with many more requiring further investigation and work. This afternoon work on replacing the glass on the Research Block was completed. Over the weekend and well into next week work will continue replacing the glass and repairing the Peat, Rock and Front Range Glasshouses. The Temperate and Tropical Palm Houses are open. [There is also unfortunately considerable damage at Benmore, Dawyck and to a lesser extent Logan.]
However, as those of you who have ventured into the garden and seen the extent of the damage, it will take some considerable time to tidy up and make safe all areas across the garden both outside and under glass.”
The RBGE storm damage in the press: