29 November 2021

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), is one of the world’s leading botanic gardens. Renowned for its plant research, horticultural conservation, education and art outreach, it is also one of Scotland’s top destinations attracting over one million visitors a year.

Since its inception in 1670 as a physic garden for the study of the relationship between plants and medicines, health and wellbeing has been very much intertwined with RBGE’s scientific, horticultural and educational work. Knowledge of plants is crucial in understanding many of the challenges facing the world today, including climate change, the loss of biodiversity, food security, the development of new medicines and much more. 

Public awareness of the importance of getting outdoors and connecting with nature has been raised during the pandemic. The interest in gardening and growing your own produce has rapidly increased in popularity. Funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is helping the Edible Gardening team at RBGE rise to the new challenges and opportunities.

Since RBGE was first awarded funding by winning the Dream Fund in 2011, the Edible Gardening Project has helped tens of thousands of people gain the knowledge and skills to grow their own fruit and vegetables. With the yearly funding, RBGE can deliver a variety of education programmes, activities that promote health and wellbeing, and world-leading research and conservation activity. Since the outbreak of covid, support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery has also helped RBGE adapt its outreach programme so it can deliver community activities as health and safety guidance changes.

The Edible Gardening Project teaches the skills and knowledge people need to grow their own food. The crops are harvested and used for public events, community group cooking sessions and to supply to our on-site caterers. So far this year, the Edible Gardening team has been able to provide advice and inspiration to visitors at events such as the Summer and Harvest Festivals. Other sources of outreach include Cook Club blogs and a range of online films which give advice and a host of topics relating to growing produce from making green compost to sowing seeds.

£2.8 million has been raised for RBGE thanks to players.