New era of green space management promised

Husqvarna announced last week that they have partnered with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to support horticulturists and strengthen RBG Kew’s ambitious climate positive plans.

TurfPro attended the official launch at RGB Kew in southwest London on Wednesday June 21st, where Husqvarna has installed three commercial robotic lawn mowers – two Automower 550 EPOS units and one Automower 535AWD machine. On top of this, an Automower 550 EPOS mower has also been installed at Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex.

The robotic mowers will be used by horticulturists to aid lawn management in areas of both gardens, with the intention of freeing up more time for the team at Kew to take care of one of the most diverse living collections in the world.
Husqvarna and RBG Kew said they both have ambitious sustainability aspirations, with RBG Kew planning to become climate positive by 2030. The introduction of electric autonomous mowers contributes towards a reduction in carbon emissions when compared to petrol counterparts they said, whilst also reducing cost and noise emissions.
As part of its environmental goals, RBG Kew is also encouraging more species of wildflowers and grasses to bloom in lawns, so more pollen is available for pollinators. Many species also rely on longer grasses for habitats or nesting sites, such as furrow bees and mining bees. Increased numbers of pollinators will in turn provide food for birds and other wildlife, helping create a more biodiverse space.This management strategy is evident at both Kew Gardens and Wakehurst, where many areas of grassland are set aside to benefit wildflowers such as fritillaries, something that Husqvarna say they also highly encourage.

Yvette Henshall-Bell, president of Husqvarna Global Pro said at the launch, “Husqvarna and RBG Kew share a strong commitment to sustainability. Through this partnership, we hope to demonstrate how autonomous solutions can provide outstanding results for one of the finest and most admired landscaped gardens in the world, inspiring more organisations and companies to make the shift, and harvest the benefits of new technology.”
Simon Toomer, curator of Living Collections at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew added, “We have an ambitious plan to become climate positive by 2030 and our collaboration with Husqvarna helps advance this. By incorporating electric mowers and adopting the latest in battery technology, we can help to reduce carbon emissions and continue to put sustainability at the heart of what we do. We are already starting to see the benefits that robotics bring, and look forward to seeing even more results over the summer.”

The 18-month partnership rolls out at Kew Gardens from this month (June 2023).

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