Great news – we’ve just been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £99,600 for our new ‘Plant Recording for All Ages’ project!
The project will bring our historic herbarium up-to-date, make it accessible to all and enable visitors to use it for a range of activities. The project will start in May 2016 and will take place over the next two years.
Our herbarium contains around 100,000 pressed plant specimens, some of them about 200 years old. They are all housed in the original cabinets designed by our founder, Allan Octavian Hume, over 100 years ago. The new project will help to conserve these fragile specimens and install digital interpretation facilities so that visitors can view them online. We will also widen our range of already popular educational activities for school children, adults and young people to complement the refurbishments.
We have already made huge developments at the Institute using our last grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (which ended recently with our fantastic Victorian Variety Day) and are looking forward to updating our herbarium so that visitors have even more to enjoy and learn about when they come here.
Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, has said of the grant: “Rare flowers, strange fungus, not to mention thistles and moss… the historic plant collections of the South London Botanical Institute are home to fascinating examples of our botanic heritage. Many of these are beautiful, extraordinary and intriguing but also very fragile. Thanks to Lottery players, our grant will use digital technology to help many more people access and enjoy these remarkable plant specimens.”
Watch this space or sign up to our newsletter to keep up with the latest news on what we do with the grant.