17/11/2021 • Partnerships

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to shape landscaping at Watermeadow Court

Mount Anvil and Peabody have partnered with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to bring world-leading expertise in pollination and nature-based solutions to Watermeadow Court, in Hammersmith and Fulham

Prior to Mount Anvil and Peabody partnering on this scheme, the 1.3-acre site was granted planning permission for 218 new homes, of which only 36 would have been affordable. Now, the joint venture partners are working together to revise the planning permission and increase the number of affordable homes to 50%, delivering much needed housing for the Borough. These homes will benefit from attractive landscaping for which Kew scientists will be providing their expert advice on plant species and habitat creation to support a diversity of pollinators and other animals, maximising the developments biodiversity value.  

As part of the partnership, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew team will also be educating young people from Hammersmith & Fulham on the importance of biodiversity and fighting climate change. The partnership will also provide funding for a budding scientists’ annual placement working with the scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Killian Hurley, CEO of Mount Anvil, comments: “We’re always looking for ways to pursue better, differently and with the urgent need to address climate change, making sure our developments are highly sustainable and offer flora and fauna that both enhances the environment for residents as well as the natural world, is not a nice to do but a must do. 

“We also want to help educate the younger generation and have been building our curriculum outreach with the help of our partners to raise awareness of climate issues and build a better future for London’s next generation. Being able to offer first-hand experience at our joint development via Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s world-class scientific expertise and funding a young scientist is just one way we can help to educate and create even more outstanding places in the future. As such, this partnership should prove invaluable.”

Dick Mortimer, Director of Development and Sales at Peabody, said: “Our shared vision with Mount Anvil goes way beyond simply creating affordable housing – we want to develop inclusive communities designed to promote wellbeing and social cohesion, and landscaping plays a huge part in this. We are hugely grateful to the scientists at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew who have really got behind this project and we look forward to creating something that will be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Dr Hauke Koch at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, concludes: “It’s crucial that we do all we can to enhance green spaces in cities, and this project provides the opportunity to create new biodiverse urban environments which will flourish over the years whilst at the same time, educating budding young scientists and members of local communities.” 

Jeff Eden © RBG Kew

Jeff Eden © RBG Kew

Jeff Eden © RBG Kew

Jeff Eden © RBG Kew

Dr Hauke Koch is a research leader at Kew studying the importance of plants for thriving pollinator populations. He is particularly interested in understanding the role of the chemical composition of pollen and nectar for pollinator health, to identify plants that have special nutritional or medicinal value for UK pollinators. In a survey of bees at Kew Gardens, he has found 107 different species, making this one of the most diverse sites for bees in the UK. By applying insights from studying bee diversity at Kew, we can promote diverse pollinator communities in other sites across London, including Watermeadow Court.