Tim Entwisle reviews his first 100 days as Director of Conservation, Living Collections and Estates at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
Interesting thoughts on the big tasks ahead, such as working out what a 'Director of Conservation' does in an organisation where almost everything is about conservation.
"And on my 100th day? I visited Wakehurst Place to talk about the UK Seed Hub project (and exciting new venture bulking up seed for restoration projects) and the future of this estate as a premier visitor attraction (which it already is really, with more than 400,000 visitors a year in a fairly difficult to get to place).
On my return to Kew I spent my 'research afternoon' (my job includes a 10% research expectation) collecting some algae from a few of the ponds in the estate. There are massive filamentous algal blooms in nearly every pond at the moment so I'm curious, and we should know, what species are in them. I was also inspired by reading two papers by Brian Whitton on the pond flora of St James lake. Brian sampled the lake a few times back in the sixties and published algal lists in at least 1966 and 1969. He made a plea for more regular long term monitoring of ponds and the like.
Whether I can sustain regular collecting at Kew I don't know but at the very least we should know what algae grow in our ponds. I can also add this data to the currently blank fields under algae in Kew's Wildlife pages."