Why the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh needs your help to save historic Palm Houses for future generations

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The Palm Houses at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh have been a source of wonder for centuries but now they need your help to save them, so these national treasures can open again. Find out how you can help.

There is a reason that wildlife and gardening celebrities Kate Humble and Arit Anderson have become ambassadors for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s Save the Palm Houses campaign.

The beautiful and ecologically important A-listed Palm Houses have stood at the heart of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) as an iconic part of Scotland’s heritage for over 200 years.

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 However, the botanical refuge has had to close, after coming under threat fromdecades of weather erosion which has crumbled the sandstone and smashed fragile glass panes with high winds repeatedly, despite ongoing repairs.

A huge restoration is underway to create a lasting legacy for future generations but the race is now on as more help is needed to reach the £250k fundraising target before the buildings are handed back to the care of the garden in 2025.

The Palm Houses are not just iconic buildings intrinsic to Edinburgh’s rich cultural heritage. They house and protect plants that have facilitated a greater understanding, a deeper knowledge, and they’ve inspired wonder and engendered curiosity. Your donation will mean that that invaluable legacy is able to continue.

Kate Humble

With private donors pledging to match each pound given – doubling the impact of each donation – the appeal has just reached the impressive milestone of £100,000.

The Save the Palm Houses campaign will not only restore the buildings but will preserve them for another two centuries by installing energy-efficient and more robust panes, as well as reworking and replacing rusted ironwork. 

The restoration is also being supported by the Scottish Government, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation and Historic Environment Scotland. It is the first stage of the Garden’s landmark Edinburgh Biomes development project.  

Inspiring children and visitors from around the globe

The revitalised Palm Houses will showcase the beauty and importance of exquisite plants, some rare and under threat in their native habitats

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Picture yourself strolling through a temperate rainforest with new pathways that lead you  to discover themes of conservation and climate solutions. For generations to come, the Palm Houses will provide refuge and inspiration, just as they have done for centuries.

Over 800 plants are being meticulously cared for, ready to reinstate back into the renovated Palm Houses. Your support will enable  600 square metres of rusted ironwork to be restored and 5,750 panes of glass to be replaced.

Donate now

To find out how you can help Save the Palm Houses visit www.rbge.org.uk/palmhouses