A bulldozer is coming to Pembrokeshire, and it is a big deal.
The land around the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, which includes the Virginia Botanical Garden, is the most valuable land in the UK.
In 2018, the state of Norfolk received £1.5m for its land, and a £2.8m loan from the Government’s Natural Heritage Fund.
This is the first time in over 60 years that Norfolk has received an international award for its natural heritage.
“This is a significant and significant milestone,” said Norfolk Botanic Gardens President of Gardens and Heritage Dr Robert McInerney.
“We will use the money to do research, develop new plants and to develop a new planting plan for the Norfolk gardens, and to help the Norfolk botanic gardens in their next five years.”
In 2017, Norfolk received a National Conservation Grant of £500,000 to support the Norfolk Gardens and its garden community.
The funding was used to develop the Norfolk Planting Plan, which is designed to support farmers who are developing their own crops, to better ensure the future of the gardens.
“We will be working with Norfolk County Council and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, as well as the Norfolk Waterway Authority, to get the Norfolk Garden Plan into the hands of the community,” said McInermys.
The plan was designed to be implemented over the next five to ten years, so farmers could see the benefits of their efforts, and the potential for more funding.
The Norfolk Botanics have already had an amazing response to the plan, with the planting of a variety of new plants, including a variety that has been grown in the garden for the first year.
In addition to the plantings, the gardens have also developed a collection of edible flowers and vegetables that will be available for use in the gardens at a later date.
“There are many opportunities for people to come together and make a garden,” said Dr McInerny.
“They can start by growing a garden and getting some fruit, but we also have a garden for a school and they can have a picnic.”
This is just the beginning for Norfolk, but not all of the money will be spent on planting the garden.
“The Norfolk Gardens will be managed by the Natural Heritage Trust,” said Mr McInemy.
“Funds will be used to fund research into the use of the land, as we look at ways of using the land in a more sustainable way.”
The money raised from this award will be put towards supporting Norfolk Botany Garden and the garden community over the coming years.
The funding will be split between the Norfolk Natural Heritage Foundation, the Norfolk Conservancy and the Norfolk Agricultural Research Centre.