The South London Botanical Institute (SLBI), based in Tulse Hill, has just been awarded £76,500 for an exciting new project, ‘Botany on Your Plate.’ The project will provide a range of activities introducing both children and adults to the science behind our food plants, helping people to understand where the food on their plate comes from.  The project will start this autumn and take place over the next three years.

‘Botany on Your Plate’ will help people to engage with the plants and natural world around them, through discovering the environmental wonders of food plants. The project will encourage children and adults to grow food and to understand the local and global environments affecting what they eat.  The Institute already offers a well-established, popular programme of educational activities around plant science, from curriculum-based school visits to adult workshops, talks and walks. ‘Botany on Your Plate’ will build on these activities to offer new topics around food plants – with the help of numerous plants growing outside in the SLBI garden. Whilst some people might already grow food at home or in their school garden, the Institute offers the opportunity to examine these plants under a microscope and to see the environments in which less familiar species such as hops, marshmallow and loquat grow.

The SLBI was founded in 1910 by Allan Octavian Hume, a dedicated social reformer, with the aim of bringing botany to the working people of south London.  This aim continues today, with people from local communities and further afield able to explore the plant world, enjoy the botanic garden, library and herbarium, and participate in a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities.

Commenting on the award, Marlowe Russell, SLBI Trustee, said: “We are delighted to have received this support from the City Bridge Trust and are looking forward to adding exciting food plant programmes to our activities with both adults and children. It’s so important in today’s world that those in the city as well as the country understand where their food comes from”.

David Farnsworth, Director of the City Bridge Trust said: “City Bridge Trust makes grants of around £20m a year towards charitable activity in Greater London. We hope that this grant to the SLBI will help them continue to deliver vital services to disadvantaged people. We are committed to supporting Londoners to help make our city a fairer place in which to live and work.”

The SLBI is open for frequent and varied events and activities, as well as general public openings on Thursdays from 10am-4pm. For more details see, call 020 8674 5787 or email