A jam-packed programme of events will take place later this month to mark Fascination of Plants Day 2023.

The University of Aberdeen, in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, the Robert Gordon University (RGU), Aberdeen Science Centre, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the James Hutton Institute will come together to celebrate the plants around us.

Fascination of Plants Day takes place around the world on the 18 May and encourages people around the globe to be fascinated by the wonder of plants and consider their huge importance, in our lives, as well as the wider environment.

Kicking off the programme of events, on Thursday, May 18, Fergus Garrett, Chief Executive of the Great Dixter Charitable Trust will deliver the annual Noel Pritchard Memorial Lecture at the University of Aberdeen Zoology Building. Fergus will talk about connecting to the countryside, and how to combine plants using colour, shape, texture, repetition and punctuation, using Great Dixter and other gardens as examples.

On Sunday, May 21, from noon to 4pm, members of the public will be able to join the organisers in celebrating all things plants in the Cruickshank Botanic Garden in Old Aberdeen with a host of free, drop-in activities.

Staff from the University of Aberdeen will be on hand to explore the diversity of shapes, colours and adaptions shown by the plants in the gardens and also discover the huge diversity of animals the flowers support.

Scientists from The James Hutton Institute will introduce the world of Magnificent Mosses, Duthie Park Rangers will teach us all about our amazing trees and why they are important, while a team from SRUC will demonstrate how agricultural crops help to feed the world’s population and how growing them efficiently to provide good yields and quality whilst encouraging beneficial environmental stewardship is a balance all farmers are tasked with.

People will also be able to learn from RGU scientists about the power of plants and their diverse defence mechanisms from thorns and spikes to bitter tasting compounds.

Visitors of all ages will be able to join the team from Aberdeen Science Centre as they explore the amazing world of plants.

Professor David Burslem, Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Biodiversity at the University of Aberdeen, said: “I am delighted with the programme of events we are able to offer on Sunday 21st May. There will be so much to see and do for everyone to enjoy, and we are excited to be able to host the day in the Cruickshank Botanic Garden, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. The garden is an ideal location for this event as it exists to promote an appreciation of the beauty, diversity, and importance of plants.

“All the events are free to attend and I’m sure those who come along will find it a fascinating way to spend Fascination of Plants Day 2023!”

Morag McFadyen, Lecturer at Robert Gordon University's School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and a Burgess of Guild of the City of Aberdeen, added: "The organisation of this year's Fascination of Plants Day has again been such a rewarding, collaborative approach which emphasises the brilliant community that we've harnessed over the years in Aberdeen who all have such a shared passion for plants."

For more information visit Fascination of Plants Day 2023 | About | The University of Aberdeen (abdn.ac.uk)

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