Environment – Current Issues

Electric Vehicle Charging Points

Electric Vehicle Charging Points Update 19/02/2018 Richmond Council are consulting on the location of more electric vehicle charging points in Kew and elsewhere in the Borough. You can see the proposals and have your say, by 11 March, here: https://haveyoursay.citizenspace.com/richmondecs/electric-vehicle-18/consult_view/ Update 18/01/2018 The rapid electric vehicle charging point at 241-245 Lower Richmond Road (ref 17/3687/FUL)…

Cycle Superhighway 9

Cycle Superhighway 9 Update 13/12/2017 Transport for London’s proposals for Cycle Superhighway 9 from Kensington Olympia to Brentford town centre has been the subject of much comment in the Evening Standard and elsewhere, most objecting on grounds that Chiswick High Road is not approprrate as the road is a relatively narrow traditional high street. There…

Bulb planting on Kew Road

Bulb planting on Kew Road: making a Bigger Splash Update 11/12/2018 To complement our efforts at Kew Gardens station to brighten the entry to the Royal Botanic Gardens with new planting, we have now funded and planted 4,600 bulbs in the Kew Road grass verges, opposite the Victoria Gate entrance to the Gardens. We are…

Air Quality Action – volunteers needed

 Air Quality action Update 13/02/2018 Volunteers are urgently needed to join a series of local ‘Idling Action’ days, educating parents, carers and motorists of the dangers to air quality when leaving their car engines idling on the school run, outside shops, at level crossings or anywhere when parked for a minute or more. Volunteers work…

Way finding in Kew

Way finding in Kew Pedestrian accessibility improvements; Kew Gardens station forecourt Update 21/12/2017 We have followed up our comments to Richmond Council on the changes proposed to the Kew Gardens Station forecourt with two meetings and a further letter highlighting our concerns. The Council are reviewing all comments made and will be making a decision…

Kew Gardens Station Platforms planting

Planting Kew Gardens Station Platforms Update 21/01/2018 We now have plaques at Kew Gardens Station showing that, together with Energy Garden, the Kew Society is maintaining the plants at the station. We are very grateful to Powerhouse Design and Engineering Ltd for providing the plaques for us at cost price. Interested in joining our team…


Graffiti along the rail track between Kew and Richmond Update 04/02/2018 It has not taken long for the graffiti to reappear on the side of the houses in North Avenue. We are raising this again with our MP, including the need for Nework Rail to improve security which is clearly a problem here. Update 05/12/2017…

Policy Consultations by Transport for London: Ultra Low Emission Zone and Low Emission Zone changes

Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Changes Update 07/02/2018 We have now submitted our comments on this consultation pressing for a more ambitious approach by the Mayor of London to improve our air quality. In summary, we believe all Londoners should have the same entitlement to clean air and the regulations…

National Park City

Kew Society support for the Greater London National Park City We have added our support to this initiative which aims to identify Greater London as a National Park. Though London would not have the same legal status as other National Parks, it would emphasis the value that we put on our natural heritage – our…


Heathrow expansion proposals Update 08/02/2018 Richmond Council’s press release gives some sound advice on why you should be wary in the way you respond to these consultations (below) from Heathrow. Take a look at the press release with quotes from Richmond, Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Windsor and Maidenhead Councils, all opposing Heathrow expansion: https://www.richmond.gov.uk/council/news/press_office/older_news/february_2018/bogus_choices_on_noise_confirm_heathrow_is_wrong_place_for_expansion Update 22/01/2018 Heathrow…


Electric Vehicle Charging Points Update 19/02/2018 Richmond Council are consulting on the loca [more]
London Mayor's draft new London Plan Update 28/02/2018 We have submitted comments from the Kew [more]


Event Information:

  • Wed
    5:30 pmRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew

    Kew Society members were offered a rare opportunity to visit the Economic Botany Collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This is the oldest and perhaps the most fascinating of Kew's science collections containing over 100,000 items. The collection began in 1847.

    The tour was lead by Mark Nesbitt, who is senior Ethobotanist and Curator at RGB Kew and he delved into Kew's history and current science research via a unique collections of rubber, lacebark, Chinese medicines and other useful plants. The term Economic Botany essentially means 'useful plants'.


    Jamaica lace plant. George II once had a suit made using this 'imitation' lace.

    The bark simply peals back to expose this extraordinary lace.

    Mark has been working with groups to help reintroduce this plant for commercial purposes.

    The collection houses many & varied Chinese medicines.

    These Alpine plants from New Zealand were labelled 'Vegetable Sheep' and caused a sensation in Victorian London.

    Maori cloak, though to be ceremonial. Made from an Alpine plant that mimics leather.

    Mark has been working with ethnic groups using this very valuable cloak.

    Wild rubber hot water bottle.


    The tour was very generously free and we are exceedingly grateful to Mark Nesbitt for making this most generous offer to our members.

    Click here for Mark's own page detailing his research