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Askham Bryan College to Open New Cactus and Succulent Feature


Cact iAskham Bryan with steve Boosford

© Askham Bryan College

Cacti and Succulent Feature Opens at Askham Bryan College to Show Biodiversity, Conservation 

By Howard Drury


Cacti and Succulents continue to gain popularity, especially with younger generations. They are also important in our changing climates situation and may even hold the answer to future food and energy supplies in addition to the aesthetic values.

This has led to a four-year project to build a permanent feature at the college, created in partnership with The British Cacti and Succulent Society. Together they have collected together 124 species and over 400 different varieties, mainly from South America, North America and Africa. Many of the plants have been privately donated  by members of the society, much in the same way as the Birmingham branch of The Cacti and Succulent Society work with the University of Birmingham Botanic Garden. The college will use the collection as a resource to educate about bio-diversity and plant health.

The man in charge, Steve Bassford lecturer in horticulture at the college, explained that they are widening the curriculum to educate people on the role of cacti in the wild, how they exist and howe they multiply in such harsh conditions. There are  problems of illegal collecting, the need for conservation as many are endangered, some at the point of extinction.
Much of the enthusiasm has come from visiting lecturer Peter  Cowdell appropriately known as 'Cactus Pete' who designed and planned the feature in addition to sourcing plants and materials.

Askham Bryan College hope that in addition to providing a new feature for the college to use with its students, it will also be used by outside bodies and organizations for adult education, workshops as well as spreading information about Cacti and Succulents.

© Howard Drury 10th April 2022

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