Kew celebrates National Lottery Award

Kew celebrated its Grow Wild initiative being voted the UK’s Best Environment Project in the National Lottery Awards on TV in September 2016.

Staff and volunteers from Grow Wild were joined on the red carpet by celebrities such as John Barrowman, Katie Derham and many of Team GB’s National Lottery funded Olympic heroes, as they accepted their award.

Millions of TV viewers saw the project recognised for its inspirational work. Grow Wild is the UK’s biggest-ever wild flower campaign, bringing people together to transform local spaces with native, pollinator-friendly wild flowers and plants. Grow Wild is the national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Grow Wild celebrated its win of the Best Environment Project in the National Lottery Awards 2016 with staff from across Kew Gardens and local Grow Wild funded community groups from London.

After the Kew staff talks from the Director of Kew, Grow Wild had a surprise in store for their colleagues all across Kew Gardens. Inviting everyone to join them on board the iconic Kew Explorer, along with members of local Grow Wild community projects, they embarked upon a victory lap of the Gardens with the iconic National Lottery Award trophy! The first stop was The Great Broad Walk Boarders for another surprise – a glass of bubbly!

The celebrations are well earned – not only has Grow Wild had success in the National Lottery Awards this year, it has also funded hundreds of fantastic community projects and distributed over a million packets of native wild flower seeds for free.

Independent research conducted online and in focus groups by Forest Research (the research agency of the Forestry Commission) clearly shows the incredible impact that the programme has made all over the UK. Grow Wild has boosted community co-operation and inspired people to do something positive for nature where they live.

Guests who rode the Explorer with us included young volunteers from Stand Up Garden. Project participant, Liam, said: “We wanted to work on a project that gave us a connection to the community, get us off our phones and participate in something different. If young people help construct their local community, they care more and are less likely to ruin it.”

Richard Deverell, RBG Kew Director, said: “The really great thing about Grow Wild is that it allows us to visit people in every area of the UK, who would never visit Kew Gardens or Wakehurst. So we’ve connected wonderfully diverse communities, across the length and breadth of this country, with wild flowers, with biodiversity. They’ve been touched by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and that simply wouldn’t have happened without Grow Wild.”

Philip Turvil, Grow Wild Programme Manager, said: “Thanks to the National Lottery, over three million people have come together across the UK – changing lives and transforming spaces with wild flowers, all through Grow Wild projects led by Kew Gardens. This award is an incredible recognition; a horticultural thumbs up to all our wonderful groups and volunteers on the ground and online. More people are now growing the native wild flowers upon which so much of our lives depend for pollinators and colour.”

John Barrowman, who presented the TV show for the seventh year, added: “The National Lottery Awards celebrate the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects as voted for by the public. They recognise the legends behind these amazing organisations – ordinary people who do extraordinary things with National Lottery funding.”

Grow Wild was awarded Best Environment Project in the National Lottery Awards 2016 after gaining an absolutely incredible 23,493 votes. Thank you so much to everybody who voted!

Find out more
Find out more about Grow Wild at and @GrowWildUK on Twitter/Facebook


National Lottery Awards 10th September 2016. From left to right: Philip Turvil, Grow Wild Programme Manager, RBG Kew John McFarlane, Grow Wild community volunteer Tracey Rosean, Grow Wild community volunteer Kimberly Wyatt, singer and TV star Julia Willison, Head of Learning and Participation, RBG Kew Pete Harrison, Grow Wild community volunteer Nikki Mugford, Grow Wild Marketing and Campaign Manager, RBG Kew


Kew celebrates National Lottery Awards 2016