Festival at Wakehurst to return for third year running

Grab your goggles, slip on a lab coat and get stuck into the Kew Science Festival at Wakehurst.

Kew Science Festival at Wakehurst, by Jim Holden
Kew Science Festival at Wakehurst, by Jim Holden

The event returns for a third year at the venue, back by popular demand on May 25 and 26.

With more than 350 scientists and work spanning more than 100 countries, Kew is a global leader in plant and fungal science; from carrying out exciting plant discovery expeditions in Colombia, to vital conservation work in biodiversity hotspot Madagascar, and unearthing the fundamental impacts of plants on our daily lives.

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This year’s scientific extravaganza, running from 10am to 5pm will not only focus on the vital importance of conserving the world’s plant biodiversity, but will bring to life, for all ages, the crucial value of plant and fungal science.

The two-day festival is a rare chance to experience vital plant and fungal science first hand and find out what Kew scientists are doing to protect rare and threatened species.

Set in and around the world-renowned Millennium Seed Bank, the festival features marquees on the lawns and will house an extensive programme with something to intrigue everyone.

It is also the perfect chance for adults to enjoy the new exhibition Surviving or Thriving - an exhibition on plants and us, in the atrium of the seed bank.

Festival highlights include the Cryo Corner, a look at what’s happening inside the vats of billowing nitrogen! Discover how Kew scientists are pioneering new techniques to conserve seeds that can’t be banked in the normal way and watch ice-cream being made with liquid nitrogen.

At the event you can also discover DNA. Find out for yourself what DNA looks like and try your hand at extracting DNA from a strawberry.

TV presenter Stefan Gates’ extraordinary live show about food and science, Gastronaut: The Wildest Food Show on Earth, will also be at the event. A blend of bizarre plant biology with explosive chemistry, sensory perception and phenomenal physics to reveal the shocking secrets behind the food we eat every day.

The festival also boasts behind the scenes tours of the Millennium Seed Bank

This is a rare chance to go behind the scenes and uncover the subterranean secrets of the most biodiverse place in the world.

A spokesman for the event said: “Book early on the day as spaces are limited”

Other attractions include More than a Mushroom, a look at the wonders of fungi, the Science Cafe, shows, workshops, a virtual field trip with Google Goggles and more.

A programme of inspirational workshops and award-winning shows will keep you enthralled at the festival.

Drop in to the Science Café and hang out with TV presenter Simon Watt for a series of family games, quizzes and Q&As to get you thinking

Visitors can explore Wakehurst’s extraordinary wild landscape and uncover how it carries out science in the gardens and in the wild – from the crops grown on site for research, to the conservation of rare plants and seeds.

Join a Pollinator Walk, go on a Fungi Quest, and find out how some of the most important, rare and threatened trees measure up for size.

At the event you can also become a honey detective, match the honey to the plant it comes from and take a peek inside a live bumblebee colony.

Food and drink will be available all weekend.

Entry to the festival is fee of charge with garden admission.

Children 16 and under are free. An adult ticket costs £13.95

For more information please contact Sandra Howard, communications and content manager, on 01444 894336.