South London’s Horniman Museum and Gardens has followed a string of environmental commitments made in 2019 with the publication of a Manifesto to underpin its sustainability work going forward.

Pledges made in the document include launching a new ​Nature and Love project to highlight climate and ecological issues via exhibitions; reaching Greenhouse Gas neutral by 2040; establishing an Environmental Champions Club to inspire and support visitors to make their own changes; and appointing a Climate and Ecological Action Coordinator, dedicated to implementing these changes.

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Pollinator Bed in Horniman Gardens © Polly Heffer

The ​Nature and Love​ project will include a redisplay of the Natural History Gallery and Aquarium, the creation of outdoor zones to encourage nature exploration and sustainable gardening, and opening up access to an historic Nature Trail. This initiative, the Museum has confirmed, will form the basis of a major funding bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund later this year.

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Horniman Aquarium, Project Coral © Jamie Craggs

“We believe the Horniman has a moral and ethical imperative to act now,” the Museum’s chief executive, Nick Merriman, said. “As a much-loved and trusted institution and the only museum in London in which nature and culture can be viewed together, we feel we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to use our collections, our indoor and outdoor spaces, and our relationship with our visitors, to create a movement for positive environmental change.”

Horniman Museum
Nick Merriman, Chief Executive of the Horniman Museum & Gardens © Tania Dolvers

Minimising waste at the café will also be a key aim. A target that 97% of organic food and gardens waste will be composted annually from 2020 has been set in the Manifesto. The drive to remove single-use plastics across all areas of the Horniman also continues, in addition to a scheme that will see 200,000 litres of Aquarium water reused in the Gardens each year.

Launching the Environmental Champions Club will be supported by the Horniman’s membership of the 2020 Julie’s Bicycle Accelerator programme, which aims to advance the sustainable practice of all participants.

Horniman Museum
Horniman Walrus in Natural History Gallery © Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman’s two-page Climate and Ecology Manifesto can be read here.

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