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Trees and pond
David Jenner

Bedgebury National Pinetum achieves top level Arboretum Accreditation

Forestry England’s, Bedgebury National Pinetum in Goudhurst, Kent has been awarded a Level 4 Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. This program is the only global initiative to officially recognise arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism and Level 4 is the highest accolade that a botanic garden can achieve.

The accreditation programme sets the industry standards, and as of April 2021, only 33 out of the 452 accredited arobreta across the globe have reached Level 4 status.

Joining institutions such as The Morton Arboretum and Longwood in the United States; RBG, Sydney in Australia; and Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens in South Africa, achieving this level of accreditation puts Bedgebury National Pinetum on the international stage amongst the top performing arboreta in the world.

Alex Brearley, Forest Management Director for East Forest District of Forestry England, says:

“It is a real privilege to manage such an important tree collection at Bedgebury on behalf of the nation. The recognition that level 4 accreditation brings helps to further highlight the important global conservation work undertaken at the National Pinetum.  Achieving this award is testament to the hard work and dedication of our Pinetum team.”

Bedgebury National Pinetum is unique and important on a global scale for species conservation, scientific advancement and the understanding of conifers. The mix of conifers and broadleaved specimens contained in 350 acres of rolling Wealden countryside is awe-inspiring in its size and grandeur. Amongst these trees you will find the planet's largest living organism - the giant redwood or Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), and the tallest - the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Bedgebury holds 6 National Plant Collections - Chamaecyparis lawsoniana cultivars (cvs.); Cryptomeria japonica cvs.; × Cuprocyparis leylandii cvs.; Juniperus species (spp.); Taxus spp. & cvs. and Thuja cvs. Keeping these collections ensures that they are available for gardeners, nurserymen, researchers, and anyone interested in trees to benefit from as a resource alongside the expertise of the Bedgebury team in managing their care.

The scale and quality of Bedgebury Pinetum's conifer collection make it an ideal 'safe site' for the International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP) run by the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. A safe site for this programme is a botanic garden that grows plants collected in the wild, as seed or cuttings and where there is regular monitoring and biological data recorded. The ICCP aims to promote the conservation of conifers through in-situ conservation work, ex-situ conservation work, research and education. Bedgebury Pinetum plays a vital role in conserving the genetic diversity of conifers, particularly those from temperate rainforests.

Being recognised as one of the top performing arboreta in the world is a great achievement for Bedgebury Pinetum and highlights the important global conservation work that the tree team carry out. The National Pinetum offers a world class tree collection where scientists can study, and a place where visitors can enjoy the beauty and diversity of conifers.

Notes to editor

About Forestry England

Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, with over 235 million visits per year. As England’s largest land manager, we shape landscapes and are enhancing forests for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow. For more information visit forestryengland.uk. Forestry England is an agency of the Forestry Commission.

About Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest

Bedgebury National Pinetum is home to the National Conifer Collection and is recognised as one of the most significant collections of conifer trees and plants on one site anywhere in the world. There are more than 12,000 trees, including threatened and historically important specimens. The mix of conifers and broadleaved specimens contained in 141 hectares (350 acres) of rolling Wealden countryside is awe-inspiring in its size and grandeur. Amongst these trees, you will find the planet's largest living organism - the giant redwood or Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), and the tallest - the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). The Bedgebury team travel the world to collect seeds from rare species natural habitats for propagation and conservation, supported by the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum.

Bedgebury is a key partner in the Global Trees Campaign run by Fauna & Flora International and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. Bedgebury makes a  International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP) run by the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.  Bedgebury’s nursery continuously grows tree and shrub seedlings to replenish and extend the collection. Surplus seeds and plants are distributed to other botanic gardens and safe sites across the UK and Europe, and seeds are stored for long term conservation in the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place. Bedgebury works to conserve tree species identified in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The pinetum is open all year offering a beautiful setting for peaceful walks and picnics. Trails amongst the trees explore the history and significance of the collection. Bedgebury Forest covers around 800 hectares (2000 acres) and enables people of all ages to enjoy activities such as adventure play, walking, cycling, mountain-biking, running, horse riding or a Go Ape high-ropes adventure trail.
forestryengland.uk/bedgebury   

The Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum is a charity that supports research into, and the conservation of, all flora and fauna, and the sharing of related knowledge with the general public.  Friends’ events promote Bedgebury as a site for high quality, healthy recreation in a landscape of rare and endangered flora and fauna. The Friends fundraise for Bedgebury via membership subscriptions, sponsorship activities and donations.

bedgeburypinetum.org.uk

Media contact

Emma Bramley, Marketing and Communications Manager
e: emma.bramley@forestryengland.uk               
m: 07768 171283 

Images available here, please credit Forestry England, Crown copyright