Associated with The Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Hortus botanicus Leiden, Juan Carlos I Royal Botanic Gardens, Alcalá de Henares University, WilaBonn, Tooro Botanical Gardens, School Biology Centre Hannover, University Botanic Gardens of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum, Freie Universität Berlin, Botanic Garden Meise, Balkan Botanic Garden of Kroussia, Bergamo Botanic Garden “Lorenzo Rota”, University of Innsbruck, Botanical Garden of the University Vienna, National Museum of Natural History and Science, University of Lisbon, Waag Society, University of Warsaw Botanic Garden, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

Second BigPicnic Partner Meeting

From 17th to 20th May, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) hosted the 2nd BigPicnic Partner Meeting.

Representatives from all BigPicnic PartnersPhoto credit: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Representatives from all 19 Partners descended on the garden for a jam-packed three-day meeting. The agenda included training on TBIRRI and data analysis as well as opportunities for the Partners to present posters to update the rest of the consortium on what they have been working on. 

For example, Hortus Botanicus Leiden presented their science café which was held in April. The event made use of activities that were co-created with local educators and attracted 500 attendees.

Bergamo Botanic Garden “Lorenzo Rota” presented a breakdown of the number of individuals they have reached through their various activities including presentations and co-creation sessions. The number is now well over 3,000. 

Poster (UL)

Botanic garden Partners also delivered pre-prepared co-creation sessions they had been working on together. This not only offered a space to trail new ideas and gain feedback but also provided inspiration to others. 

For example, a session was led by Botanic Garden Meise and Botanc Garden and Botanical Museum, Freie Universität Berlin. In small groups, Partners were given props related to food and food waste and given 15 minutes to co-create an exhibit for an exhibition on food waste.  The Partners were then asked to interpret others exhibits to see if they effectively communicated their messages.

Partners presenting their co-created ideas for exhibits based on food wastePartners presenting their co-created exhibits on food waste. Photo credit: Hortus Botanicus Leiden

The RBGE team were wonderful hosts and laid on some fabulous food security related evening events. This included a formal dinner of Scottish food a drink in the gardens Gateway Restaurant  as well as a BigPicnic. During the BigPicnic Partners foraged for salad and cocktail ingredients while food was provided by Real Junk Food Project Edinburgh an organisation that aims reduce waste by intercepting food before it goes to landfill and Scotland The Bread who aim to tackle health and sustainability issues by promoting and producing bread made with local wheat varieties. 

Lunch was provided by the Social Bite, a chain of non-for-profit sandwich and coffee shops which raises money for charity as well as providing food and jobs to people who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness. 

Tour round Dawyck Botanic GardenA tour of Dawyck Botanic Garden. Photo credit: Hortus Botanicus Leiden

The meeting culminated with a day trip to Dawyk Botanic Garden, one of RBGE’s rural sites and Whitmuir Farm, an organic farm, shop and café which also runs public engagement projects to encourage support for sustainable practices.