Famous garden and greenhouse site under threat

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts on the Isle of Wight have been dealt a blow after it was revealed that the council is set to remove its funding of a local attraction.

The local authority provides all of the Ventnor Botanic Garden’s £500,000 per year budget and voted unanimously to remove it as part of cost cutting measures.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), there are now fears that the garden could have to let many of its specialist staff go, potentially endangering the site’s assortment of southern hemisphere plants – one of the largest collections in the UK.

The garden seems safe for the time being thanks to its Grade II status, but 4,000 supporters have joined an online campaign that wants the council to cut some of its senior management posts before removing the attraction’s funding.

In spite of the campaign, the local authority has branded its funding of Ventnor Botanic Garden "unsustainable" and plans to press ahead with the cuts.

In other news, the RHS reported that experts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh have travelled to Afghanistan to teach students how to identify and collect rare local plants.