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Homepage > Weekly focus > Biodiversity: Meacher 'goes wild' at Kew

Focus on biodiversity

Michael Meacher 'goes wild' at Kew

Michael Meacher and Mary Reynolds in Defra's Biodiversity Garden

Michael Meacher was in Kew Gardens this morning (22 May) to open a new showcase garden funded by Defra in association with Kew.

The Biodiversity Garden, created by Mary Reynolds, winner of a gold medal at last year's Chelsea Flower Show, demonstrates leading design based on principles of enhancing biodiversity. It is part of "Go Wild", Kew's 2003 summer festival; the theme of the festival is British biodiversity.

The garden is inspired by WB Yeats' poem, "The Stolen Child". It illustrates how disappearing wetland habitats and endangered species such as the otter and water vole can be saved, and how ordinary household gardens could form a significant conservation resource. It features a range of native plants and trees, surrounding a natural pond. A walkway flanked by sentinel stones leads to a huge, reclining clay sculpture of Mother Earth.

Michael Meacher said:

The Mother Earth sculpture

" This garden is a wonderful opportunity for us to highlight the importance of biodiversity in keeping our environment in balance. Mary's design showcases several of the features which we are aiming to conserve with our agri-environment schemes.

" In the UK, our wetlands are disappearing and species such as the water vole and otter have become endangered. It is vital that we raise awareness of how diverse habitats, even those in our own gardens, can contribute to biodiversity and conservation and help us to slow this decline."

The "Go Wild" festival opens to the public on 24 May and runs to 28 September 2003. Defra has contributed £35,000 to the cost of design and construction of the garden.

For more information about the 'Go Wild' festival and Defra's Biodiversity Garden, see the Kew Gardens website.

Extract from The Stolen Child by WB Yeats

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
From a world more full of weeping than he can


More biodiversity pages on this site:

Pan European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy
UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP)
United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

External links:

Business & Biodiversity Resource Centre
Exploring biodiversity (Natural History Museum)
UK Agricultural Biodiversity Coalition
UK Biodiversity website

  Page last modified: 23 May 2003
Page published: 22 May 2003
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