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Project information

Kew Children's Garden

The Children's Garden is an incredibly ambitious project and will aim to sow the seed of a lifelong passion for plants and the environment for our youngest guests.

With over one million young people expected here at Kew in the next three years we are presented with a unique opportunity.

August 2017 - August 2018

Charity information: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew logo
  • Need


    Kew Gardens currently welcomes over 320,000 children each year. Around 80,000 children come on school trips for day-long visits complementing traditional teaching, and another 240,000 visit with their families.

    However, our existing outdoor facilities for learning and play were only temporary and are worn, dated and contain little of our core messaging.

    Kew's aspiration for expanding its provision of environmental education into the future has strengthened the case for the Children's Garden.


    The Children's Garden will provide young children with opportunities to be in contact with nature, and to allow them to explore and play creatively in a natural setting in order to build a level of comfort with natural environments, to encourage a continuing quest for further understanding as they grow up, and to establish a life-long respect for living things.

    These are significant basic elements that underpin the mission of Kew.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Attracting families, providing a quality experience that nurtures creative play and love of nature.


    » The garden will be split into four key themes. These themes will be used to provide a focus for the types of planting and activities available.

    What success will look like

    Success will be education opportunities for formal and informal groups; and increased sustainable income through increased visitation, membership, and secondary spend.

  • Impact


    The Children's Garden will create a high quality nature-based experience for families and groups with younger children - through facilities for use by schools and education, and spaces for various informal and group activities - inspiring a love of plants and a sense of wonder of nature for young people and families.


    The Children's Garden has been developed with close consideration of the existing, high-quality, mature trees within the site which provide part of the living collection.

    Where trees are retained, various measures have been employed in the design process to ensure their on-going health and vigour.


    Regular updates through reports and digital communications.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £3,960,611

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £549,062 Site preparation Site prepation, groundworks and surface treatments
      £428,852 Site services Hard surfacing, soft landscaping and site services
      £1,233,241 Bespoke structures Furniture, play elements & bespoke structures/features
      £458,814 Construction Other construction costs
      £516,601 Design development Design development and construction
      £308,908 Project management Project management, estates and external costs
      £465,133 Horticulture Horticulture design development, supervision and maintenance
  • Background


    A site for Kew's Children's Garden has been selected in a zone between the existing play areas of ‘Treetop Towers/Climbers & Creepers', and Brentford Gate; within a zone currently supporting informal trees (eucalypts and mixed northern hemisphere evergreen and deciduous).


    We hope to receive over 385,000 young people a year – ensuring that every visitor to Kew is given the opportunity to be inspired by the world of plants and to learn about Kew’s plant scientific work through engaging and fun experiences.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge. We have been at the forefront of plant science and discovery for over 250 years, and have unrivalled expertise and networks in local and global conservation, science and research.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Suzie Jewell (Garden Designer)

    Suzie presented a comparison study of other Children’s Gardens in the UK and abroad, initial concept ideas and final design for the Children's Garden