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Botanical Gardens preparing for better times ahead

THE Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are preparing to welcome the community back through its gates with a number of projects underway behind the scenes.

The Gardens received a stimulus package from the Tasmanian Government’s Public Building Maintenance Fund, which was developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with $302,000 allocated to cover six essential maintenance projects.

Royal Botanic Gardens director Gary Davies said the new funding would allow for maintenance work to begin on the original boundary fence of the popular Japanese Garden.

The new fence is a simple design using locally sourced timber which will support the Wisteria plants ready for their usual Spring display.

“Behind the scenes there has already been significant upgrades, including the replacement of a staircase above the Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre as well as the necessary replacement of a glasshouse in our Plant Nursery,” Mr Davies said.

“All staff are being kept busy on site assisting the horticulture team, and growing fruit and vegetable seedlings that will be made available to the general public.”

With the assistance of Heritage Tasmania, restoration work will also soon start on the historical Eardley Wilmot Wall, which was constructed in 1843.

Having been constructed more than 170-years-ago, the work requires specialist stonemasons who will use original convict bricks to replace damaged areas of the wall.

“The funding has enabled the Gardens to undertake much needed works on some heritage buildings and iconic collections, as well as projects to support work health and safety compliance into the future,” Minister for Heritage Elise Archer said.

“When the site is continually open, maintenance and upgrades can be difficult to undertake in order not to detract from the visitor experience.

“While the unexpected closure is unfortunate, the Gardens now have an opportunity to accelerate these much-needed works ready for re-opening.

“The Gardens are an important place of health, well-being and enjoyment for many Tasmanians, interstate and international tourists, and I look forward to the day that people can return to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens to appreciate this beautiful location.”

The dedicated Gardens team is committed to sharing its work with the public, and will be streaming virtual garden tours and posting regular updates on social media.

Caption: The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.