Back in May 2000, the National Botanic Garden of Wales was opened to the public. It’s hard to think back to a time before the advent of social media. I remember, at that time, being one of the few of my friends who didn’t even own a mobile phone. The Spice Girls were still topping the charts. How things have changed! Now, I can’t imagine being without my phone, and I don’t think I’ve listened to the Spice Girls for twenty years (not knowingly at least, my music taste does change after a glass of red wine…).
I started working at the “Garden”, as we like to shorten then name to, in April this year. And what a whirlwind it’s been! Getting to know the staff, volunteers, visitors and plants (of course!) has been a real thrill. It’s so inspirational to have met people who have such passion, drive and enthusiasm for our cause. People who have been there since the very beginning, making such a difference to our work.
I now know that since its opening, the Garden has gained a worldwide reputation as a centre of excellence for botanical conservation and research and for inspirational education, recreation and learning opportunities for its visitors. Indeed, you may miss certain elements of our work when you visit, such as our cutting edge research at the Science Centre. This is where we are conducting an incredible analysis of how our ecosystems work and looking at how we can improve the health of our planet for future generations. However, despite achieving so much already, there’s still a lot for us to do!
This brings me onto legacies. Talking about “gifts in wills” can be a tricky subject for us Brits. Our stoical avoidance of talking about taboo subjects like death a clear hangover from more modest times. But now is a great opportunity to talk about it, especially with “Remember a Charity” week upon us. It’s time to talk about what we want to leave as our legacy for future generations.
For many of us, we have seen the world grow and develop almost out of recognition in a very short space of time. Life is changing at a pace that nature can’t keep up with. Not solely due to our carbon emissions, but things like our use of resources and throw away culture is wreaking havoc on our planet.
Now, I’m not saying that the Garden is able to respond to every threat that climate change is creating. However, we are at the forefront of some very important work. Not just our research, but our education programme, which gives young people a valuable opportunity to learn about everything from names of plants to where their beef burgers come from on our organic farm.
The beauty and success of the Garden, and its work of enhancing the lives of people in Wales, can only be sustained through the continued contributions of committed supporters. A legacy is one of the most personal gifts that anyone can leave, and many people also choose to leave a donation to support a cause that has been of special significance to them.
Every donation or legacy, regardless of its size, will help make this possible.
For more information on supporting us, please contacts Owen Thomas, Development Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org