Research boon

Published: Thursday 30 April 1998

in the South Wales Vale of Tory, uk , the crumbling neglected landscaped garden's of the 18th century, Middleton estate is being transformed into the world's largest single span greenhouse. According to authorities, the elegant structure of steel and glass will be the centre for the new National Botanical Gardens of Wales, uk.

The gardens will house flora from climatic regions in the Mediterranean and around the world. Calling it the "cathedral for environmental studies", Charles Stirton, director of the centre, envisages the project as a living experiment in sustainable development.

The greenhouse will generate its own heat with a bio-mass boiler, recycle water and waste. It will also provide a work place for synergy between botanists, agricultural scientists and practitioners of medieval Welsh herbal medicine, says the director.

The self sustainable ethos of the botanical gardens in Wales is being extended to financing as well as environment. Once the funds are available, construction will proceed in three stages, he adds.

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