The Living Collection Decant

The Living Collection Decant

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00:00:08,960 --> 00:00:34,720 [David Knott] I'm David Knott, curator of the living collections here at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. The living collection of the Royal Botanic Garden currently comprises some 13,500 species, 130,000 plants. And we have a number of plants that are rare threatened, endangered and even extinct in the wild. So the significance of the plant collection, not just to Scotland, but to the world is of immense importance.
00:00:38,800 --> 00:00:53,920 [Sadie Barber] During this project, we are moving approximately 40,000 plants. Realistically, we haven't ever tackled something quite on this scale in such a short time frame in our whole 350 year existence.
00:00:57,200 --> 00:01:11,240 [David Knott] Currently, what we have planned is a massive plant decant programme that means that we're moving plants both physically moving and removing plants from each of the glasshouses in turn in advance of any construction work.
00:01:14,720 --> 00:01:54,920 [Simon Allan] Initially we started off by removing all the very small plants that we had in here, so we started off right at the bottom and lifted all the little things. And we've kind of worked our way up in size. We've had to tweak that on the ground and make decisions on the spot as to practical decisions about how and where and why. But unfortunately, some of the things won't be able to be moved for logistical reasons of size and scale and also the chances of these things being able to survive. So we're prioritising things that we know stand a good chance of surviving the process so that we can show them to the public again when the restoration is finished.
00:01:56,200 --> 00:02:21,360 [Sadie Barber] For me, the Edinburgh biomes project really is the living plant collection decant, and that is because everything we're doing for the Edinburgh Biomes all relates back to the plants. The project itself is a seven year project, but actually for horticulture, this project is taking us closer to 10 years because of all the pre-work that's happened.
00:02:24,720 --> 00:02:39,440 [David Knott] What the biomes programme in this massive restoration and rebuild of glasshouses will ensure that we have glasshouses that we are able to cultivate the indoor living plant collection for future generations over the forthcoming years.