FORESTRY England’s Bedgebury National Pinetum in Goudhurst, Kent, has been awarded a Level 4 Accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Programme.

This programme is the only global initiative to officially recognise arboreta at various levels of development, capacity and professionalism and level 4 is the highest accolade that a botanic garden can achieve.

The accreditation programme sets the industry standards, and as of April 2021, only 33 out of the 452 accredited arobreta across the globe have reached level 4 status.

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Joining institutions such as the Morton Arboretum and Longwood in the United States and RBG, Sydney in Australia, achieving this level of accreditation puts Bedgebury National Pinetum on the international stage amongst the top performing arboreta in the world. Alex Brearley, forest management director for east forest district of Forestry England, said: “It is a real privilege to manage such an important tree collection at Bedgebury on behalf of the nation. The recognition that level 4 accreditation brings helps to further highlight the important global conservation work undertaken at the pinetum.”

Bedgebury National Pinetum’s mix of conifers and broadleaved specimens include the planet’s largest living organism – the giant redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum), and the tallest – the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens).

Bedgebury holds six National Plant Collections – Chamaecyparis lawsoniana cultivars (cvs.); Cryptomeria japonica cvs.; × Cuprocyparis leylandii cvs.; Juniperus species (spp.); Taxus spp. & cvs. and Thuja cvs.

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