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 publicly accessible teaching garden and long-term opportunity for urban insect study at IQL Stratford in East London. From summer 2023 onwards, it will form a permanent part of Lendlease’ sustainable mixed-use neighbourhood at the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The RES Garden is designed to show how remarkable and valuable insects are and allows insect study to take place in the unique outdoor laboratory, that is inspired by an insect eye, at the heart of the garden. The RES Garden at IQL Stratford will be a place for ongoing education, engagement, and research into the role that urban green spaces, including brownfield sites, have in providing food and habitat for the creatures that all life on our planet relies on.
Research into pollination, food security and vector borne diseases is widely accepted as critical to our survival in a changing world but despite their crucial role in ecosystems across the planet, insect conservation and study is often undervalued when compared with mammal and bird science.
Tom Massey has previously worked with Lendlease on two projects at IQL Stratford: the Hothouse, created for London Design Festival 2020, and the IQL mobile orchard. Speaking about the garden, and his wider collaboration with one of the world’s leading insect science organisations, designer Tom Massey says:
“The vast majority of the UK’s population lives in an urban area with demand for housing and built infrastructure running at an all-time high. IQL Stratford is a fantastic example of how it’s possible to deliver a sustainable built environment that prioritises benefits for both people and nature and I’m thrilled that the RES Garden is being relocated there after the show. I’m really excited to be working with RES to raise awareness of insects and their importance in gardens – especially in urban settings – the wider UK landscape, and the global environment. Insects are a 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.”
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.
Simon Ward, CEO at RES, said:
“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. We are hugely grateful to Project Giving Back (PGB) for gifting us the opportunity of a garden at RHS Chelsea. Our partnership with Tom and PGB has allowed us to forge an exciting new partnership with Lendlease and to establish a permanent home for the garden at IQL Stratford. We can’t wait to spotlight the wonderful world of insects for IQL visitors and, we hope, to inspire insect scientists of the future.”
Simon Ward, CEO, Royal Entomological Society
The garden highlights biodiversity in brownfield sites which are often rich in wildlife and includes a range of habitats including a dead tree sculpture, rammed earth floors and walls, hoggin pathways and piles of dead wood, piles of rubble, sand and gabion walls. The planting has been chosen to encourage insects and provide a wide range of food sources for pollinators and other beneficial insects. It includes common plants that are often considered weeds such as dandelions, clover, vetch and knapweed, as well as trees that are also very important for supporting insects including hawthorn, silver birch, Scots pine and hazel.
Bek Seeley, Lendlease’s Managing Director for Development in Europe, said:
“Sustainability, innovation and collaboration run through everything we do at Lendlease, so bringing a slice of the iconic RHS Chelsea Flower Show east across the city to IQL Stratford is a perfect partnership. It is the latest example of a momentum eastwards across London, which includes cultural heavyweights such as the V&A and world-leading academic institutions like UCL.
This superb new garden will not only promote biodiversity and local wildlife in Stratford, but will be a shared resource for education and research and support our wider aims to foster skills in our local communities. It will only add to what makes IQL Stratford one of the best connected and most exciting destinations for forward-thinking organisations in the UK.”
Bek Seeley, Lendlease
For further information about the Royal Entomological Society Garden visit www.royentsoc.org/chelsea. For further information about IQL Stratford, visit www.internationalquarter.london.
Tickets for RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which runs from 23 – 27 May 2023, are available via the RHS website here.
Read the full Press Release here.