Tributes to Robin Herbert CBE, VMH

Robin Herbert CBE, VMH


Tributes have been paid to one of the founding trustees of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Robert Herbert, who played a crucial part in bringing the project into existence.

Mr Herbert joined the board whilst also Chairman Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, and his knowledge status and business acumen were invaluable in building the credibility of the National Botanic Garden of Wales project.

Former Botanic Garden Trustee and garden historian Bettina Harden also paid tribute, “The Welsh Historic Gardens Trust has lost one of its greatest supporters, long-time members and its President for many years until 2013. It is not just a loss for the WHGT but for nearly every important horticultural organisation in Britain. Robin was a man of great distinction, notable not just for his imposing height but also for his knowledge and passion for horticulture which he put to the test in creating not one but two great gardens. It was my privilege to know him for nearly thirty years.”

Educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard Business School, he spent many years in the United States before returning to Wales in 1957. Belonging to many organisations within and without Wales, he played a key role in the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural Wales, the National Trust for Wales and the WDA. As well as being Chairman of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1991-97), he was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), where he was its President from 1984 to 1994. His leadership and energy were recognised with the award of the Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH), an honour he shared with leading horticulturalists, plantmen and women of the age.

Mr Herbert leaves five children: Elizabeth Murray and Ben Herbert live in Monmouthshire; Susannah Ford in London; Richard Herbert in New York and James Hooper in Gloucestershire.