Friends' support to the Garden and Arboretum

How do the Friends support the Garden and Arboretum?


Help with the Friends' sponsorship and corporate member programme

We are looking for someone to help raise sponsorship for the Friends and to develop a corporate membership programme as an important new income stream. This person will have professional experience of running such programmes and would be paid for their time. For an informal discussion please contact: Anna Nasmyth,


Friends' donations to the Garden and Arboretum

The Friends were established in 1991 to give extra support to the Garden and Arboretum’s work and to increase links between staff and visitors. It has been a great success, raising almost £2 million so far through membership fees and events. In the financial year to the end of February 2015 the Friends gave just over £198,000 towards the Garden and Arboretum’s budget. This has funded essential items in all areas of activity including facilities and equipment, staff development, plant collections, and support for public education programmes:

A contribution to the cost of a stump grinder and a propagation unit at the Arboretum
Metal edging for the family beds at the Garden
A contribution to the public education program through funding of leaflets and family-friendly activities
Support for a horticultural trainee
Support for staff training and professional development

To view the Financial Statements for the year ending 29 February 2016, please download this document:


To view the minutes of the latest AGM, please click on the link as follows:

Legacies and donations

Legacies are an important source of income for the Friends, as for all charities. Earlier this year we received a generous bequest of £97,000 from a former member, Tim Baker-Jones. We would like to ask all members of the Friends to consider leaving a bequest in their Will, no matter how small. Recent changes in inheritance tax make this an even more attractive way of helping to improve the Garden and Arboretum in the future. Chairman of the Friends Richard Mayou writes: "I have done this myself and I find it rewarding to feel that eventually my contribution will make a real difference to a Garden and Arboretum which have given me so much pleasure." Legacies are used to support development projects within the rolling long-term plans of the Garden and Arboretum. They can be particularly helpful in supporting projects which cannot be fully financed by the University or by external funding, and there are likely to be several of these in the next few years.

If you would like more information about leaving a legacy to the Friends, please contact our Treasurer, Hemlata Bountra, via, 01865 286690.


In previous years, the Friends have paid for: 


  • GPS mapping of the Arboretum.
  • Visitor facilities at the Arboretum.
  • Staff training and continuing professional development.
  • Interpretation plinths.
  • Family-friendly activities in the school holidays.
  • Visitor feedback kiosks.
  • Development of the Asteraceae quarter at the Garden.



  • Tractor mounted mower for the Arboretum; a rotary mower; a hedge trimmer.
  • Family friendly activities in school holidays; new visitor backpacks.
  • Maps for visitors; website redesign; a film on diversity of the Garden and Arboretum collection.
  • Planting and sowing the Merton Borders at the Garden (right); safe disposal of pernicious weeds; mulching the Family Beds; labelling.



  • New car park at Harcourt Arboretum.
  • New Compost Area at the Garden.
  • Glasshouse blinds. label stands, irrigation and misting equipment, and external lighting for the Charlotte building at the Garden.
  • Oak crown reduction at the entrance to the Arboretum.
  • Family and children holiday events.
  • Filming equipment to support the website.
  • Off-road vehicle for the Arboretum.
  • Two-way communication radios.



  • Re-soiling and turfing in the Medicinal Garden (right) and the Lower Garden.
  • Staff training and a third of the salary of one of the botanical horticulturalists.
  • Equipment for the education programmes.
  • Plant labelling.



  • Culvert and path repairs at the Arboretum.
  • Compost bins at the Arboretum.
  • Tree safety management software.
  • Schools education programme.
  • Garden publicity.
  • New mowers.



  • Repair of culverts at the Arboretum.
  • Plants for Mediterranean and New Zealand borders at the Garden.
  • Secondary schools education programme.
  • Salary of a trainee.
  • Plant labelling.
  • Photographic equipment.


And earlier:

  • Permanent endowment of an education officer post.
  • An all weather path around the Arboretum.
  • Conversion of the Arboretum lodge into a reception and education centre.
  • A tractor and trailer.
  • Urns and seats around the Garden fountain pool.
  • Landscaping around the Arboretum lodge.