Wakehurst Place Garden

Wakehurst Place Garden

Wakehurst Place Garden is a garden located in Ardingly, West Sussex in southern England (gbmapping|TQ340315). It includes walled and water gardens, woodland and wetland conservation areas. It belongs to the National Trust and is managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. For the National Trust's 2004–2005 fiscal year Wakehurst Place Garden was the Trust's most visited property for which admission was charged, with over 420,000 visitors.

The garden was largely created by Gerald W.E. Loder (Lord Wakehurst) who purchased the estate in 1903 and spent 33 years developing the gardens, which today cover some 2 square kilometres (500 acres). He was succeeded by Sir Henry Price , and the Royal Botanic Gardens took over in 1965. Wakehurst is home to the National Collections of betulas, hypericums, nothofagus and skimmias. The Wellcome Trust Millennium Building, which houses an international seed bank — the Millennium Seed Bank Project (not National Trust) — which opened in 2000. The aim of the Millennium Seed Bank is to conserve seeds from 10 % of the world's flora by 2009, in the hope that this will save species from extinction in the wild.

Wakehurst Place is home to the largest growing Christmas tree in England. The tree stands at 35 m tall and is lit with around 1,800 lights from Advent until Twelfth Night. The lightbulbs on the tree were changed in 2006/2007 to energy-saving lightbulbs so the tree is not as bright as before but saves lots of energy.

Much of Kenneth Branagh's 2006 film "As You Like It", adapted from Shakespeare's play, was filmed on location at Wakehurst Place.

External links

* [http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-wakehurstplace/ Wakehurst Place Garden information at the National Trust]
* [http://www.kew.org/visitor/aboutwp.html Wakehurst Place Garden information at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew]
* [http://www.gardenvisit.com/g/wake.htm Wakehurst Place Garden - a Gardens Guide review]
* [http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/events/wpxmas05.htm Festive events at Wakehurst Place]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/4043653.stm 'Biggest Christmas tree' lit up] — from BBC News


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