With the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Friends of Botanic Gardens, the £3.8 million restoration work at the Tropical Ravine is well under way. The pictures below give you a view from inside the ravine highlighting the sheer scale of the project and the art piece that surrounds the Tropical Ravine site for the duration of the restoration.
Staff at Botanic Gardens had already been busy carefully removing and rehoming exotic plants and foliage from the ravine. The majority of plants were removed but there were still a few that had to stay behind due to their size. We've installed temporary bespoke greenhouses around three cycads, a banana stumpery and a fire wheel tree to give them the best possible chance of survival.
The next major milestone for the ravine will be the installation of the new roof so keep a look out on our social media for more updates.
Writing the Ravine
The Writing the Ravine project was developed with the aim of decorating the hoarding which surrounds the Tropical Ravine site for the duration of its £3.8 million restoration. It aimed to explore the heritage of the Botanic Gardens through a series of creative writing workshops and open days at the Palm House and Ulster Museum which involved over 400 participants.
Working with stakeholders and user groups, writer Jan Carson and poet Emma Must facilitated the creative writing workshops that focused on Botanic Garden events, beginning with the Gardens opening in 1828. Other events included the Hero of Niagara, Charles Blondin’s tightrope walk across the gardens, Mr Coswell’s giant hot air balloon ascent and the fascinating giant water lily, Victoria amazonica, which is returning to the Tropical Ravine.
All stories and workshop were based around newspaper articles and images from 1800s when Botanic Gardens first opened. This was an opportunity for us to engage with people based on their previous experiences and manage their expectations of the newly restored Tropical Ravine.
These memories have been illustrated by award winning artist Peter Strain and installed along 27 metres of hoarding that surrounds the Tropical Ravine while the restoration is complete.
If you would like to find your special memory or read about the events that took place in Botanic Gardens over the years, visit the Tropical Ravine to see the new art piece.
Botanic Gardens access restriction at Colenso Parade
The entrance to Botanic Gardens at Colenso Parade is closed to the public until Summer 2017. Only construction vehicles and staff have access through this entrance. We apologise for any inconvenience.
All other entrance routes to Botanic Gardens are open as normal. These are:
- Stranmillis Embankment
- Stranmillis Gardens
- Stranmillis Road
- Botanic Court
- College Park East