Duke of Kent presents Botanic Garden volunteers with Queen's Award
Press release issued: 3 April 2019
Volunteers from the University of Bristol Botanic Garden were presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) at a ceremony held at the Garden yesterday [Tuesday 2 April]. The award - the MBE for volunteer groups - was awarded by HRH the Duke of Kent and the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Peaches Golding OBE, in recognition of the skill, dedication and enthusiasm of those who help to run and promote the work of the Garden.
The volunteers are the life force of the Garden, with many having given more than 20 years to helping with everything from gardening and guiding visitors to helping at events, helping with refreshments' and welcoming visitors to the Garden.
The award, a signed certificate by Her Majesty the Queen along with an English Crystal engraved with the official QAVS insignia, was marked with a celebratory garden party, where the volunteers were joined by Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University and Jekka McVicar, President of the Friends of the Garden.
Nick Wray, Botanic Garden Curator, said: "I am delighted our volunteers have been honoured with the QAVS. They make such a valuable contribution to the Garden, giving many hours of their time and sharing their knowledge about the importance and diversity of plants."
Pat Davie, Chairman of the Friends of the Botanic Garden, who has been a volunteer for 20 years, added: "We are thrilled to receive the award and for our volunteers to be recognised. We all enjoy being part of the Botanic Garden and supporting its development and educational role."
Professor Jane Memmott, Director of the Botanic Garden, added: "The award is testament to the commitment of our volunteers, who are valued members of the Garden’s team. We are extremely proud their dedication has been rewarded, and their skill, loyalty and enthusiasm ensure the Garden continues to flourish."
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
The 1.66-hectare garden features many exotic species set in displays against the backdrop of a Victorian house. It has been designed to tell stories about plant evolution and its collections include Mediterranean flora, and rare and threatened natives. The glasshouses are home to the Giant Amazon water lily, tropical fruit, medicinal plants, orchids, cacti and a unique Sacred Lotus collection.
About the University of Bristol Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 5,000 plant species forming four core collections that illustrate plant evolution, plants from Mediterranean climates, useful plants (including Chinese and Western herb gardens) and rare and threatened native plants to the Bristol area.
Star attractions include an amazing dell demonstrating the evolution of land plants including the dinosaurs' favourite plants: ginkgos, cycads, tree ferns, monkey puzzles and the Wollemi Pine. Other delights include glasshouses, home to giant Amazon water lilies, tropical fruit and medicinal plants, orchids, cacti and a unique sacred lotus collection.
The Botanic Garden is accessible to wheel-chair users and the brochure will be available in audio and braille.
Normal admission and opening times
The Botanic Garden is open from 10 am until 4.30 pm or dusk in the winter (except during weekends in February and March when opening times change to 10.30 am until 3 pm).
The Garden is open Monday to Friday and closed at weekends from December until the end of January.
From February until the end of November the Garden is open for seven days a week including bank holidays.
Admission is £6.60 (Gift Aid payment)* or £6 (non - Gift Aid payment); free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 18.
*The adult gate entry fee of £6.60 includes a 60p voluntary donation which UK taxpayers' can pay, allowing the Botanic Garden to benefit from a 25 per cent refund of tax from the government on each adult ticket.
Dogs (except registered disability assistance dogs) are not permitted in the Botanic Garden.
The garden is accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a designated path leading around the garden and glasshouses. Disabled toilet facilities are available on site and a wheelchair is available upon request from the Welcome Lodge.
Pre-booked guided tours of the garden for groups of ten upwards are available seven days a week. Please contact the garden for further information. There is a charge for the guide of £8 per person.
Directions to the Botanic Garden
From the city centre go to the top of Whiteladies Road, at the junction and traffic lights go straight ahead across Durdham Down towards Stoke Bishop. At the traffic lights go straight ahead and take the first turning on the right into Stoke Park Road, The Botanic Garden at the Holmes is 150 metres on the right.
Members of the public wishing to support the work of the Botanic Garden should join the Friends of the Garden. For more information go to the Friends of the Botanic Garden or contact Sue Beech, The Membership Secretary, email: firstname.lastname@example.org