Community spirit brings Wakehurst’s Glow Wild to life

Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden near Haywards Heath, welcomed members from Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove (WSBH) to a special Glow Wild lantern making workshop this month.
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Glow Wild celebrates its tenth year in 2023, and the anniversary trail celebrates the power of community and collaboration, with groups from across the county coming together to create lanterns to feature within the magical event. Age UK WSBH’s guests spent an afternoon in the botanic garden crafting lantern leaves for a new installation from Brockman & Page called ‘Woven Grove’. Nestled in Wakehurst’s Iris Dell, a handwoven ancient mother tree stands at the heart of the piece, its branches and leaves cascading over 17 offspring, all nestled in the quiet glade, beautifully lit by Ben Page and enriched with a sweeping soundscape from Ithaca.

With so many trees, an abundance of leaves is required to bring the piece to life, so the efforts of Age UK have been invaluable to the final creation.

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Harri Oliver, Wakehurst Participation Manager said, ‘We’ve been delighted to welcome members from Age UK to Wakehurst to join the community effort behind Glow Wild. At Wakehurst, we want to ensure that everyone feels welcome in our gardens, and through initiatives such as this free community workshop, we hope to share some of the magic our wild landscape holds.’

Age UK group at Kew Wakehurst Age UK group at Kew Wakehurst
Age UK group at Kew Wakehurst

Sara Smart, Senior Community Developer at Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove said, ‘We offer a range of groups and activities for older people locally and we're always on the lookout for new and interesting things to try. It was a joy seeing the creativity and talent of our group at Wakehurst, and we look forward to seeing their hard work come to life in the gardens when we return to enjoy Glow Wild.’

Community contributions can also be seen in each of the 17 smaller trees in ‘Woven Grove’. Each sapling has been handwoven by local school children under Brockman & Page’s expert guidance, an enchanting display of community creativity. At the end of Glow Wild, each tree will be returned to its origin school, where it will serve as a testament to the power of collaboration and inspire future creatives and horticulturalists.

Glow Wild runs on select evenings from Thursday 23 November 2023 – Monday 1 January 2024. Entry slots are available between 4.30pm and 8.20pm. Tickets from £15.50 adult/£12 child. Children under 4yrs free. Opening week special ticket promotion plus new flexible ticket offer allows date swaps and upgrades up to 72 hours before visit