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The Value of Community Engagement in Botanic Gardens with Examples from The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) has community engagement at its core. With health and environmental challenges facing society, its mission “to explore, conserve and explain the world of plants for a better future” is more important and relevant than ever. The established community engagement programme at RBGE includes the Edible Gardening Project and activities at the Botanic Cottage and these are described here. Programmes explore food-growing skills and focus on improving health and wellbeing. Significant impact has occurred at the level of the individual and community, while the wider impact on the health of society and on biodiversity while implied remains to be fully assessed.