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01 Sep 2017

Garden opens

Posted in All

Inspired by the boreal forest and waterways of northern Ontario, the Gold medal winning Royal Bank of Canada Garden, as seen at the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been relocated to WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

The Royal Bank of Canada Garden from the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show is officially opening at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre on Monday 4 September. The garden, designed by Charlotte Harris, was awarded a Gold medal at the show in May and it has taken just over two months to recreate the design at the centre in Burscough.

Centre Manager, Nick Brooks, said: “The garden has been relocated within Martin Mere’s new Wooded Wetlands development which opened in August 2016. Wooded Wetlands showcases species and habitat found in the boreal and we were thrilled to receive the opportunity to give visitors a taste of the great Canadian wilderness right here in Lancashire. It really is an awe inspiring garden and is going to be very popular with our visitors – we are very grateful to Royal Bank of Canada for continuing their longstanding support of WWT’s wetland conservation”.

WWT was the first UK beneficiary of a RBC Blue Water Grant eight years ago so it is appropriate that the Royal Bank of Canada Garden has been relocated to the WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, and designer Charlotte Harris drew inspiration from the vast and ecologically vital boreal forest and freshwater lakes of Canada. The feeling of a Canadian boreal forest is brought to life by mature pines, glacial boulders and a copper lined, burnt larch wood canopy reminiscent of wooden shelters created by hunters and travellers exploring the riverside.

The world’s largest land-based biome and one of the planet’s largest sources of unfrozen fresh water, the boreal is a huge area of forested natural habitat. It stretches across the far northern latitudes, from Siberia to Scandinavia and right across Canada, where a third of the entire biome is found. As well as providing a diverse habitat for thousands of species of flora and fauna, the boreal also plays an important global role in the reduction of carbon dioxide.

Designer Charlotte Harris said: “Working on the Royal Bank of Canada Garden was my chance to bring a taste of Canada to Chelsea, and I’m thrilled that this garden has found a permanent home at the WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.”

Dave Thomas, CEO, RBC Capital Markets, Europe said: “This year’s Royal Bank of Canada Garden celebrates our Canadian heritage and once again reinforces our longstanding commitment to water preservation. Congratulations to Charlotte and the team at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust who were able to recreate the Garden so quickly, providing an inspiring space for visitors for years to come.”

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 6pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations. Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.