New river-front planned as part of 250th birthday celebrations
KEW GARDENS is to get a swanky new river-front entrance to encourage more visitors to travel to the botanic treasury by boat.
"It really is the obvious way to arrive at Kew," said Prof. Stephen Hopper, Kew's director, who today entertains the Queen, as part of the Kew Garden's 250th birthday celebrations.
Previously the site of a royal palace, Kew's river-front was once the default method of arrival, but when Brentford, just over the river, started to house smoke-stack factories, up went the wall and high trees.
"People turned their back on the Thames because of the industrialisation," said Kew curator Nigel Taylor - surely dubbed the Kewrater by colleagues.
"But we want to change all that and the best way will be to ensure river transport. We need a dock or pontoon closer to our property."
It is possible to arrive at Kew by boat at the moment, but the Kewrater described the current landing area as "shabby" and it is a fair old distance from the Gardens.
Proposals for the new river-front development will be ready by the end of the year.
Also on the agenda is a pedestrian bridge that would link Kew Gardens with Syon Park, on the opposite bank of the river.
"A footbridge over the Thames also has considerable merit and this would help staff to travel to and from work and help reduce our carbon footprint," said Hopper.
Our photo shows a sweet view of the Thames from one of the quieter corners of Kew Gardens.