With the Institute closed due to Covid-19, almost all of our activities and school visits have been postponed or cancelled. This also means we have no income coming in from events and room hire, which means less funding to support our education work in the future. At a time of ecological crisis, we need more people to learn about the importance and beauty of plants. We really need your help to keep the SLBI thriving.

Since this is our 110th year, instead of holding a birthday party, we’re inviting everyone to join our Botanical Birthday Challenge! Your participation will help support the SLBI garden, collections and education work this difficult time and help secure our future. We hope it will also offer you a great opportunity to learn more about the world of plants!

Here’s how to get started:

1. Choose your challenge

Your challenge could be anything from identifying all the trees in your neighbourhood, to drawing a flower a day, or keeping a nature journal for a month. Get inspired by our list of ideas (see below), or come up with your own. There are no rules except to follow government guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the code of conduct for enjoying wild plants.

2. Get sponsored

Set up a JustGiving page and let your friends and family know about your challenge so that they can sponsor you. Or simply complete a challenge and donate afterwards. You can also download an offline sponsorship form here.

3. Complete your challenge

Take photos or a video if you can. Join our Facebook group, tweet us on Twitter (#SLBIBotanicalChallenge) and share the outcome of your challenge with other plant lovers.

4. Celebrate!

The money you raise will go directly to the South London Botanical Institute’s core work – inspiring more people to study and care about plants.


Who can take part?
Anyone can take part. Whatever your age or ability, we’d love you to join the challenge. You could even complete the challenge as a family or a couple.  Children under the age of 18 using JustGiving services or creating a fundraising page must do so under the direct supervision of an adult

Is there a minimum amount of money I need to raise?
There’s no minimum amount. As a small charity even a few pounds goes an incredibly long way. Any donations, large or small, will be warmly appreciated. 

Do I need to live in South London?
You can live anywhere in the world to take part. We welcome those outside of London to join us in the challenge!

Do I have to be a member of the South London Botanical Institute?
The challenge is open to anyone with an interest in plants. You don’t need to be a member or even to have visited us (although we hope you will in future!)

How long does it last?
Challenges can take place anytime over the summer of 2020. Start yours today

Who can I contact with questions?
Feel free to contact us via our web form, or email our Individual Giving Co-ordinator, Julia Minnear, [email protected]

Sarah’s challenge to identify the trees on Wandsworth Common

Our Education Officer, Sarah Webley, was the first to set up her challenge page. So far she has raised over £300!

“My local green space is Wandsworth Common and there are many interesting and beautiful trees there. I have decided to identify 30 or more trees found on the common and create a little map to show where they are located”

View Sarah’s page and sponsor her

Challenge ideas