You’d typically expect pristine rose gardens and polished landscapes at the RGS Chelsea Flower Show – not a beaver habitat.
But this year, the Royal Horticultural Society has tasked its designers with ‘bringing nature back’, aiming for its most naturalistic feel in years. Designers Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt will showcase the gardening power of beavers in their re-wilded landscape garden.
The pair are keen to demonstrate how the rodents are incredible bioengineers in the natural ecosystem. Beavers’ instinctive behaviours have been proven to positively impact our environment (a series of beaver dams can reduce the speed of water flow and help reduce the chance of flash flooding).
In paying homage the the creature, the re-wilded garden will feature a beaver dam and a pool with a hut behind to show a ‘beach meadow’, of the kind beavers create when they attract pollinators and other wildlife. The designers have also chosen the beavers favourite trees (hazel and field horn) which provide winter food for dozens of birds and insect species.
Beavers became extinct in the UK 400 years ago – and they’ve only been reintroduced in parts of the country. The RSBP wildlife charity has been campaigning for the reintroduction of beavers back into the British countryside due to their special contribution to natural habits.
The designers said: ‘The inspiration for the garden comes from seeing the incredible abundance, diversity and beauty that comes from the presence of beavers, a mammal once lost to the British countryside and now reintroduced.’
Although its unconfirmed whether the beavers will actually be in attendance, their legacy lives on in showcasing their impressive contribution to Britain's ecosystems.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be take place May 24 to 28 2022 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.