London, May 21 2012 - Royal Bank of Canada today announced that the RBC Blue Water Garden, featuring at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show (May 22-26), will be donated to London Wildlife Trust's Natural Estates project following the event.
London Wildlife Trust is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the country, and this donation comes as The Wildlife Trust movement marks 100 years of preserving natural spaces across the UK. Established in 1912, The Wildlife Trust was originally founded as the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves by Charles Rothschild. Its London arm is acharity dedicated solely to protecting the capital's wildlife and wild spaces,engaging London's diverse communities through access to our nature reserves, volunteering and outdoor learning.
Following the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the RBC Blue Water Garden will be moved to the Thamesmead Estate in Greenwich, South-East London, where it will become a community garden as part of the London Wildlife Trust's Natural Estates project. The programme aims to create bio-diverse and community-friendly green spaces in nine social housing estates around London. Many of the major features and plants will be retained following the rebuild, which will be carried out by London Wildlife Trust staff, community volunteers and local school children, supported by professionals.
The RBC Blue Water Garden, which has been designed by Nigel Dunnett and the Landscape Agency, brings the water cycle to life by becoming the first RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden to incorporate bioswales as a central feature. Instead of excess rainwater being sent straight to the drains and through invisible buried pipes, these linear structures channel the runoff, allowing it to circulate through the garden visibly. The garden is supported by the RBC Blue Water Project, a wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment to help protect the world's fresh water resources.
Alan Rick, Chair of London Wildlife Trust, commented: "We applaud the Royal Bank of Canada for donating the RBC Blue Water Garden to the Thamesmead Estate. This gift will dramatically improve the shared green spaces of local tenants and will provide an exciting and wild space for local residents to enjoy. It will also offer great opportunities for our Natural Estates project to launch a series of wildlife activities for local residents to teach them new skills, improve social cohesion and increase their access to nature."
Harry Samuel, CEO, Europe at RBC Capital Markets, added: "We're delighted to be giving this truly unique garden structure to London Wildlife Trust and preserving the message of sustainable water management. I am also very keen to see how schools and local community groups get involved in the relocation process and in making the garden an integral part of community life."
Mike Moodie, Head of RBC Wealth Management's UK business, said: "I am impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication with which Nigel and his design team have championed the idea of artful water management. It is an important message that resonates well with the objectives of the Wildlife Trust as well as the RBC Blue Water Project, and this donation presents the perfect opportunity to promote sustainable garden design that will be enjoyed by London residents for years to come."
The rebuild will begin in July this year, and will be open to the public late summer.
About the Natural Estates Project
The Natural Estates project is a partnership between London Wildlife Trust, Groundwork London and eight Social Landlords, funded through Big Lottery Access to Nature with the active involvement of Natural England.
Based on nine estates around London, three community outreach officers are working to involve the 13,000 residents in enhancing and maintaining their common green spaces, improving their physical and emotional health, social cohesion and promoting active citizenship. Each estate has a program of activity-based interventions that aims to enhance the green space by increasing its wildlife and biodiversity and contribute to improving the green infrastructure of London.
About Nigel Dunnett and the Landscape Agency
Dr. Nigel Dunnett is Professor of Planting Design, and Director of the Green Roof Centre, University of Sheffield. He is one of the UK´s foremost planting designers, and exponent of sustainable landscape and garden design, and originated the concept of `Pictorial Meadows´. He has won RHS Silver-Gilt Medals at Chelsea in 2009 and 2011. The Landscape Agency is one of the leading landscape design and landscape masterplanning consultancies in Britain.
About the RBC Blue Water Project
The RBC Blue Water Project is an innovative, wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment to help protect the world's most precious natural resource: fresh water. It includes a C$50 million philanthropic commitment to organizations that protect watersheds and ensure access to clean drinking water. The RBC Blue Water Project also promotes responsible water use through awareness programs and supports programs that encourage businesses to develop and commercialize innovative solutions to the water issues facing the world. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over C$33 million to more than 450 not-for-profit organizations worldwide that protect watersheds or ensure access to clean drinking water. For further information, please visit http://bluewater.rbc.com/.
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are one of Canada's largest banks as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ approximately 74,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 56 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.