Free Webinar – Horticulture for a sustainable future

Free Webinar – Horticulture for a sustainable future


Home » Free Webinar – Horticulture for a sustainable future

Join us for the next in our series of free online webinars. On 31 March a panel of experts from CAT, National Botanic Garden of Wales and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University will explore how horticulture can help boost biodiversity and create sustainable food systems, and what careers in this vital field can look like. 

This spring’s free webinars feature our Graduate School lecturers, partners and guest speakers, introducing a wide range of sustainability topics, from horticulture and circular economies to energy and housing.

Horticulture, biodiversity and sustainable food systems

Growing plants can be an enjoyable pastime and good for health and wellbeing. But can those skills be used to defend biodiversity, support sustainable food production and create a better world for future generations? 

Hosted by CAT’s Head of Graduate School, Adrian Watson, this webinar will explore whether horticulture can be a rewarding and purposeful career helping us address the global challenges of our time. Adrian will be joined by Will Ritchie, Curator of Horticulture at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Professor Iain Donnison, Head of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University (IBERS), and Petra Weinmann, Display Gardener at CAT, to discuss these issues. 

Will’s focus will be on the international botanic garden community’s conservation programmes, combating the current crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Closer to home, projects aimed at conserving the Welsh flora will also be described, highlighting the collaborative efforts of conservation practitioners and the critical role horticulturists play in preserving Wales’ biodiversity.

Iain will talk about how horticulture can provide us with a more varied and nutritionally valuable diet. In addition, he will describe the horticulture work taking place at IBERS and how its cutting-edge research programme can help us build a sustainable future for people and the environment. 

Looking at CAT’s site, Petra will discuss how we garden for biodiversity, and the theories behind a sustainable food system. She’ll focus on healthy soil and the practices that protect and feed the soil on a small scale at CAT, and a larger scale on local growing project Pathways to Farming

 Key information

  • Duration: 1 hour, including talk and Q&A
  • Upcoming dates: Wednesday 31 March 2021
  • Start time: 7.30pm
  • Spaces are limited
  • Booking required (see below)
  • There will be opportunities to ask questions

How it works

  • Webinars are hosted on Zoom and booking a place is required (see below).
  • You can only book one place at a time.
  • Bookings require a functioning email address as the link to access the webinar will be sent there. Only one booking is allowed per email address.
  • You’ll usually receive notifications from us 1 day and 1 hour before the event is scheduled to take place.
  • This notification will include a Zoom webinar link. Simply click shortly before the webinar is due to begin.
  • Do not share your email link with other users. Space on the webinars is limited and each link will only give one user access.
  • If you have any questions please get in touch

Meet the speakers

Adrian Watson

Adrian Watson is Head of CAT’s Graduate School of the Environment. Before joining CAT, Adrian worked as Head of Division of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University, following spells lecturing across a range of disciplines from Analytical Chemistry to Environmental Health. His research experience is as an environmental chemist specialising in the assessment of air quality and its impacts such as health, particularly at urban and indoor scales.

Iain Donnison

Professor Iain Donnison is Head of IBERS, at Aberystwyth University. He has a PhD from Cardiff University, and a BSc in Horticultural Science from Reading University. Iain is a Professor of Plant Science with a specialisation in grasslands and sustainability, on which he has worked for more than 25 years. He leads a BBSRC Core Strategic Programme grant on Resilient Crops, and is Director of the pan Wales BEACON Biorefining Centre where academics in Aberystwyth, Bangor, Swansea and South Wales Universities are working with companies in Wales to develop products from plants. He is a Company Member of the Annals of Botany, the charity which runs the world’s oldest plant science journal (the Annals of Botany), and also one of its newest (inSilico Plants).

Will Ritchie

Will is the Curator at the National Botanic Garden of Wales with responsibilities for horticulture, development of the living collections and Waun Las National Nature Reserve. Will was previously Curator at Glasgow Botanic Gardens and has worked in botanic gardens and universities in the United Kingdom, the United States and Oman. Will trained at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and gained a BSc (Hons) in Horticulture with Plantsmanship. In 2012 he completed an MSc programme in Horticulture at the University of Arkansas, specialising in breeding and taxonomy.

Petra Weinmann

Petra has been managing displays and helping biodiversity flourish in the CAT gardens since 2015. When she is not growing vegetables and working with volunteers, Petra can be found leading garden tours, making compost, and (her favourite thing) paying attention to the life of the garden unfolding.

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