ZSL’s Gorilla Garden wins Silver at Chelsea
Monday 15 May 2006
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is delighted to announce it has been awarded a Silver Medal by the RHS for its showcase Gorilla Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Medals are awarded by the RHS judges on the basis of how well each show garden fulfils the themes, purpose and technical features of its original proposal.
Designed by Graham Pockett of Graham Pockett Landscape and Garden Design, the Silver Medal recognises how ZSL is pioneering the use of horticulture at London Zoo to create a greener and more enriching environment for both our animals and the public.
Using leaf shape and size, plant form and texture, ZSL’s Gorilla Garden re-creates the natural habitat of the Western lowland gorilla, immersing visitors to Chelsea in the sights, sounds and smells of the African rainforest. Incorporating a stream and a clearing known as a bai, where gorillas can often be observed feeding in the wild, our garden also features a covered veranda symbolising an eco-tourism hotel.
Inspired by ZSL’s conservation work with gorillas in Gabon, our show garden at Chelsea has enabled us to trial the planting of our exciting £5.3 million gorilla enclosure, Gorilla Kingdom, opening at London Zoo for Easter 2007. Highlighting ZSL’s commitment to ecological development, all of the plants and all of the structural elements of the show garden will be recycled for use in the permanent Gorilla Kingdom exhibit at London Zoo.
Kevin Frediani, ZSL’s Curator of Plants said, “Winning a Silver Medal for our Gorilla Garden is fantastic. It is great to be able to share with the gardening world the work we have been doing to transform London Zoo and a real bonus to achieve recognition at the international flower show for this.”
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Notes to editors
- ZSL is currently developing an ecotourism programme which will support conservation of wildlife and rainforest in Gabon. This is a collaborative project with the Gabonese government and is based on viewing Western lowland gorillas at the Mikongo Conservation Centre in Lopé National Park, Gabon. The Mikongo Conservation Centre has been running for six years and is the first gorilla tracking ecotourism project in Gabon.
- Through the development of the exhibit, ZSL has committed to contribute £500,000 to the conservation of gorillas in the wild. ZSL is actively fundraising for the development of Gorilla Kingdom and gorilla conservation. For further information about how you can get involved, please contact the ZSL Development Department on 020 7449 6582/6583 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0207 449 6236