As the winter draws in, Glow Wild returns for a seventh time to light up the evenings. Wakehurst’s wild landscape will once again be transformed by hundreds of glowing lanterns, illuminated sculptures, fire torches, soundscapes and projections.
This year’s trail is inspired by aspects of nature that often remain unseen – a grain of pollen, a seed on the wind, or the fungi that enriches the soil allowing plants to flourish. With this theme in mind, Wakehurst has commissioned artists and creative studios to produce an array of illuminated artworks that will celebrate the hidden heroes of the natural world.
Among the delights in store are a series of giant sparking dandelion seed heads floating above Wakehurst’s beautiful Black Pond. This award-winning installation created by OGE Group was last seen levitating above the canals of Amsterdam. Elsewhere, visitors will encounter a magical garden of one hundred colourful fungi-shaped lanterns, and the ethereal dancing glow of five hundred flames will surround the Mansion Pond, forming the trail’s largest ever fire display. The impressive Elizabethan mansion itself will be illuminated by breath-taking 3D video protections which will further explore the secret world of fungi.
Along the trail children will delight in spotting illuminated woodland creatures including owls and badgers going about their nocturnal rituals. A bespoke atmospheric soundscape created by Brighton-based artists Ithaca will guide visitors along their journey through the wintry landscape. The trail will culminate in the sight of the UK’s tallest Christmas tree adorned with 1,800 lights.
“Glow Wild will continue to delight visitors with new artists, a festive atmosphere and the beauty of Wakehurst after dark,” said Wakehurst’s Head of Public Programmes, Lorraine Lecourtois. “This year has been challenging for everyone, we have been busy behind the scenes to make the trail more exciting than ever. Safe, collective experiences are rare and we want to make this a magical evening for everyone.
“Getting outdoors and connecting with nature is enormously beneficial to our well-being. Glow Wild is a completely outdoor event that can be enjoyed while adhering to social distancing measures, making it the perfect evening out this winter.”
To keep visitors safe during these extraordinary times, Glow Wild are adhering to government advice on coronavirus to ensure visitors and staff remain safe while enjoying their time at Wakehurst. Ensuring all visitors pre-book timed entry slots to Glow Wild will enable us to stagger the entry flow, avoid queues and reduce contact. Toilet facilities will undergo stringent cleaning throughout the day and there’s a cashless system at the shop and catering pop-ups across the site. The trail will operate as a one-way system with extra staff on-hand to monitor attendance and flow.
Glow Wild are offering a limited number of ‘quiet session’ tickets. These are suitable for visitors with disabilities, such as autism, to make for a more comfortable visit whilst still experiencing the sensory benefits of Glow Wild. These offer access before the general public, and will be available on Thurs 3, Thurs 10, Sat 12, Sun 13 and Thurs 17 Dec at 4.15pm.
Wakehurst is one of the most beautiful and significant botanic gardens in the country. It is home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, which houses and protects seed from the world’s most substantial and diverse collection of threatened and useful wild plants, and leads the MSB Partnership, a crucially important global science-based conservation programme which is the largest of its kind in the world. The estate includes a contemporary botanic garden, where ornamental plantings and exotic tree and shrub collections of international importance sit within native woodland. Wakehurst’s natural assets associated with its countryside location renders it complementary to Kew’s West London site, with different growing conditions, and a real emphasis on wild plant collections. Coupled with the Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst offers an inspiring, immersive, and educational day out for the whole family, and serves as a vital contribution to UK and global plant conservation. Kew receives just under half of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.
Glow Wild comes to Wakehurst, Haywards Heath on selected evenings from Thurs 26 Nov – Weds 30 Dec 2020