Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to simply as Kew Gardens, are 121 hectares[1] of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. The director is Professor Stephen D. Hopper, who succeeded Professor Sir Peter Crane. In November 2010, it was announced that Dr Tim Entwisle, Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney was to become Director of Conservation, Living Collections & Estates.[2] Kew is also the name of the organisation that runs Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Place gardens in Sussex. It is an internationally important botanical research and education institution with 700 staff and an income of £56 million for the year ended 31 March 2008, as well as a visitor attraction receiving almost 2 million visits in that year.[3] The gardens are a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Created in 1759,[4] the gardens celebrated their 250th anniversary in 2009.

The Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is responsible for the world's largest collection of living plants. The organisation employs more than 650 scientists and other staff. The living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants, while the herbarium, which is the one of the largest in the world, has over 7 million preserved plant specimens. The library contains more than 750,000 volumes, and the illustrations collection contains more than 175,000 prints and drawings of plants. The Kew site includes four Grade I listed buildings and 36 Grade II listed structures in an internationally significant landscape.[5]

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