Big Lottery Fund
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Big Lottery Fund sows the seeds of UK plant life project

The Big Lottery Fund has yesterday (Thursday) teamed up with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) to develop a new project encouraging the public to GROW WILD and celebrate the stunning diversity of UK plant life.

BIG’s £10.5 million green investment in the Grow Wild initiative will help communities, and particularly young people, get back to their green roots by planting native seeds across the UK.

One in five of our native wild flower species is threatened with extinction in the UK. The five-year Grow Wild  intiiative aims to get over three million people to understand and promote the importance of UK plant species. Healthy ecosystems, upon which we all depend for the air we breathe, clean water, food, medicines and shelter are based on the diversity of species. We live in such an interconnected world that by losing one part of it we may end up losing much more.  

In the coming months, RBG Kew will work with a range of partners from the voluntary and private sector to develop exciting plans, including a public vote on four flagship projects in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

Peter Ainsworth, UK Chair of the Big Lottery Fund said: “The Big Lottery Fund  is particularly pleased that this ambitious project will invest the enthusiasm of our young people up and down the country in the future of our natural environment and plant life.”

Angela McFarlane, Director of Public Engagement and Learning for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said: “Many young people have concerns about the future of the environment but feel unable to do anything about it. Grow Wild will offer an opportunity for young people across the UK to do something positive to help make space for wild plants.”

Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours media contact: 07867 500 572
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:
Ask BIG a question here:
Follow BIG on Twitter: #BIGlf
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Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: For media enquiries at Kew, contact Anna Quenby, Head of Public Relations, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – 020 8332 5607 /

Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn.The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £28 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew : For media enquiries at Kew, contact  Anna Quenby, Head of Public Relations, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – 020 8332 5607 /

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class Herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international visitor attraction. Its landscaped 132 hectares and RBG Kew’s country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly 2 million visitors every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst Place is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. RBG Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10 per cent of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30, 000 species). The aim is to conserve 25 per cent by 2020, and its enormous potential for future conservation can only be fulfilled with the support of the public and other funders.

Kew receives funding from the UK Government through Defra for approximately half of its income and is also reliant on support from other sources. Without the voluntary monies raised through membership, donations and grants, Kew would have to significantly scale back activities at a time when, as environmental challenges become ever more acute, its resources and expertise are needed in the world more than ever. Kew needs to raise significant funds both in the UK and overseas. Members of the public can support the work of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership by getting involved with the ‘Adopt a Seed, Save a Species' campaign. For £25 an individual can adopt a seed or for £1000 anyone can save an entire species.

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