Husqvarna, the pioneers in robotic mowing for the professional segment have partnered with the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG), Kew, to support horticulturists and strengthen RBG Kew’s ambitious climate positive plans.
The Swedish manufacturer of outdoor power tools has teamed up with RBG to install three commercial robotic lawn mowers at Kew Gardens in Southwest London – two Husqvarna Automower® 550 EPOS robotic mowers and one Husqvarna Automower® 535AWD robotic mower, and one Husqvarna Automower® 550 EPOS mower at Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex. The robotic mowers will be used by horticulturists to aid lawn management in areas of both gardens, hence freeing up more time for the team at Kew to take care of one of the most diverse living collections in the world.
Husqvarna and RBG Kew have ambitious sustainability aspirations, with RBG Kew planning to become climate positive by 2030. The introduction of electric autonomous mowers enables a reduction in carbon emissions when compared to petrol counterparts, whilst also reducing cost and noise emissions.
As part of its environmental goals, RBG Kew is also encouraging more species of wildflowers and grasses to bloom in lawns, so more pollen is available for vital pollinators. Many species also rely on longer grasses for habitats or nesting sites, such as furrow bees and mining bees. Increased numbers of pollinators will in turn provide food for birds and other wildlife, helping create a more biodiverse space. This management strategy is evident at both Kew Gardens and Wakehurst, where many areas of grassland are set aside to benefit wildflowers such as fritillaries, something that Husqvarna also highly encourages.
Says Yvette Henshall-Bell, President of Husqvarna Global Pro: “Husqvarna and RBG Kew share a strong commitment to sustainability. Through this partnership, we hope to demonstrate how autonomous solutions can provide outstanding results for one of the finest and most admired landscaped gardens in the world, inspiring more organizations and companies to make the shift, and harvest the benefits of new technology.”
Simon Toomer, Curator of Living Collections at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew n adds: “We have an ambitious plan to become climate positive by 2030 and our collaboration with Husqvarna helps advance this. By incorporating electric mowers and adopting the latest in battery technology, we can help to reduce carbon emissions and continue to put sustainability at the heart of what we do. We are already starting to see the benefits that robotics bring, and look forward to seeing even more results over the summer.”
The 18-month partnership will roll out at Kew Gardens from June 2023.