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The Royal Entomological Society to highlight crucial role of insects in our changing world with first ever RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden

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Image showing the plans for the RES Chelsea Garden, with large trees and smaller foliage, a small bridge over ponds and a central scientific dome designed and constructed with the insect's eye in mind.

The Royal Entomological Society Garden, designed by Tom Massey and supported by Project Giving Back, will be unveiled at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 (23 – 27 May) before being relocated as a teaching garden and long-term opportunity for insect study as part of the Royal Entomological Society’s (RES) planned UK network of gardens. The garden will show how remarkable and valuable insects are with visible insect science taking place in the unique – insect eye inspired – outdoor laboratory at the show.

Speaking about the Chelsea garden and his wider collaboration with one of the world’s leading insect science organisations, Tom Massey says:

“The future of our planet hangs in the balance and better understanding of insects could provide the answers to many of our climate and biodiversity crisis questions. I am really excited to be working with RES to raise awareness of insects and their importance in gardens, the wider UK landscape and the global environment. Insects are key species in our ecosystems, but many are suffering mass global decline. We have a vital role to play in their recovery and survival, just as they do in ours.”

Tom Massey

Research into pollination, food security and vector borne diseases is widely accepted as critical to our survival in a changing world and despite their crucial role in ecosystems across the planet, insect conservation is often undervalued when compared with mammal and bird conservation.

The garden’s outdoor laboratory, built into a hillside, takes visitors down into the landscape, offering an ‘insect eye view’ and a space in which to study. A moveable projector screen links to microscopes in the lab, giving the opportunity to show enlarged insects at magnified scale, revealing their fascinating morphology and offering opportunities for education. The lab’s roof structure is inspired by a compound insect eye and will provide ‘modules’ permeable to insects, providing an accessible opportunity for on-site research, study and identification. During the week of the show the lab will be used for real scientific research, monitoring and studying insects visiting the garden.

Simon Ward, CEO at RES, said:

“The Royal Entomological Society Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 presents an incredible platform for us to engage with a wide audience about the benefits of insect science and we are hugely grateful to Project Giving Back for giving us the opportunity. The garden will help us highlight the role gardeners play in providing food and habitats for a wide range of insects, whilst balancing the need to control a small number of insect species responsibly. We will show the exciting connections between people and insects, and how innovative science allows better understanding of those connections. Through public engagement at the show, and the wider publicity opportunities Chelsea offers, we hope to significantly raise the profile of insect science and its importance to everyone who values our planet.”

Simon Ward, CEO at RES

RES exists to advance insect science through research and global scientific collaboration and to increase public understanding and appreciation of insects and the diverse and important roles they play in our global ecosystems. The Royal Entomological Society Garden will provide an inspiring place in which insects can be studied, researched, and observed in a beautiful and natural environment. It will encourage visitors to consider their relationship with insects in their own gardens and, through its relocation after the show, the garden will play a key role in inspiring insect scientists of the future.

Hattie Ghaui, CEO of Project Giving Back, said:

“We’re really excited to be supporting the Royal Entomological Society Garden in 2023 – insects hold such a fascination for people of all ages. What we particularly love about Tom’s design is the way, through the interactive visual display of the garden laboratory, visitors will be encouraged to learn about and appreciate less well-known insects in all their microscopic glory. I can’t wait to learn more about some of our smallest garden visitors and am excited to see how the entomology team will survey and track the biodiversity of the garden during and beyond the show.”

Hattie Ghaui, CEO of Project Giving Back
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For further information about RES visit Tickets for RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which runs from 23 – 27 May 2023, are now on sale via the RHS website here.

For media enquiries about the Royal Entomological Society, please contact Jennie Spears or Clare Johnson at Bloom PR & Communications at


The Royal Entomological Society is a non-profit organisation and relies on publishing, membership and donations to pursue its support of scientific, educational, ecological and entomological causes.
We plan to relocate the RES garden to central London with a new education program providing a long-term opportunity for insect study as part of our planned UK network of gardens. The garden will show how remarkable and valuable insects are with visible insect science taking place in the unique – insect eye inspired – outdoor laboratory.
Much like the diversity of insects, there are many ways to support us and our work – your contribution, no matter how big or small, makes a huge impact and enables us to continue to enrich the world with insect science.

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