Bringing the boreal to Lancashire: Royal Bank of Canada Show Garden is launched at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

Inspired by the boreal forest of northern Ontario, the Gold medal winning Royal Bank of Canada Garden - as seen at the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show – was officially opened to the public this week at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

The Royal Bank of Canada Garden from the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been officially opened to visitors at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre. The garden, designed by Charlotte Harris, was awarded a Gold medal at the show last May.

Martin Mere Wetland Centre Manager, Nick Brooks, said:

“We’ve relocated the garden within Martin Mere’s new Wooded Wetlands area. Wooded Wetlands showcases species and habitats found in the boreal forests and wetlands.

“We’re thrilled to be giving visitors a taste of the great Canadian wilderness right here in Lancashire. It really is an awe inspiring garden and is going to be very popular with our visitors. We are very grateful to Royal Bank of Canada for continuing their longstanding support of WWT’s wetland conservation”.
WWT was the first UK beneficiary of a RBC Blue Water Grant eight years ago so it is appropriate that the Royal Bank of Canada Garden has been relocated to the WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

Designer Charlotte Harris said:

“I’m thrilled that this garden has found a permanent home at Martin Mere Wetland Centre. It feels like the perfect location - a wonderful educational space about the global importance of forests and wetlands, that specifically explores the Boreal zone. I explored the Boreal landscape of northern Ontario by canoe in 2016, and tried to bring a sense of that vast and beautiful wilderness by making a garden of mature pines and glacial boulders at RHS Chelsea last year. I have included a copper lined, burnt larch wood canopy to be reminiscent of wooden shelters created by hunters and travellers exploring those lakes and rivers. The Chelsea garden fits so perfectly into the setting at Martin Mere, and I hope visitors to will enjoy the garden for many years to come.”

The garden is home to a variety of plant species that will provide a sensory experience through coloured flowers, scent and touch. One of the most unusual species to see is the Jack Pine trees. Very uncommon in this country, Jack Pines can survive in freezing cold temperatures but need the searing heat of forest fires to open their cones and regenerate. Visitors will be able to see these and more throughout spring and summer.

The world’s largest land-based biome and one of the planet’s largest sources of unfrozen fresh water, the boreal is a huge area of forested natural habitat. It stretches across the far northern latitudes, from Siberia to Scandinavia and right across Canada, where a third of the entire biome is found. As well as providing a diverse habitat for thousands of species of flora and fauna, the boreal also plays an important global role in the reduction of carbon dioxide.

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 6pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations. Visit the web site to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.


WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre
Nature Reserve
WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre

Leaves crunching beneath your feet, striking sunsets across the mere and the arrival of up to 40,000 pink footed geese and 2,000 whooper swans from Iceland – autumn and winter is an amazing time to visit Martin Mere.



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