Horniman Museum announces Climate and Ecology Manifesto

Horniman Natural History Gallery. Photo by Joel Knight

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in south London has today (Thursday 30 January) announced its Climate and Ecology Manifesto, outlining its platform for action and the steps it will take to mitigate against the climate and ecological emergency, and to help shape a positive future for generations to come.

The Horniman’s pledges include:

● an ambitious Nature and Love project to redisplay its natural history and living collections to highlight climate and ecological issues to a wider audience
● reducing pollution, including the intention to be Greenhouse Gas neutral by 2040
● creating an Environmental Champions Club to inspire and support visitors to make their own changes
● appointing a Climate and Ecological Action Coordinator, a new role dedicated to making the changes happen

A major element of the Manifesto is the Nature and Love project to use the Horniman’s collections and outdoor spaces to engage visitors with climate and ecological issues. This will include a redisplay of the Natural History Gallery and Aquarium, as well as creating outdoor zones to encourage nature exploration, highlight sustainable gardening and open up access to the historic Nature Trail.

The announcement of the Manifesto follows the Horniman’s declaration of a Climate and Ecological emergency in July last year. The planned actions build on existing work including replacing bottled water and plastic takeaway packaging in the Horniman Café with lower environmental impact products, and raising public awareness through events and exhibition such as the Beat Plastic Pollution pop-up display in the Aquarium, which was shortlisted for the Museums Change Lives Awards in 2019.

Nick Merriman, Chief Executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens. Photo by Tania Dolvers

Nick Merriman, Chief Executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, says: ‘We believe the Horniman has a moral and ethical imperative to act now. 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.’

The creation of the Environmental Champions Club will be supported by the Horniman’s membership of the 2020 Julie’s Bicycle Accelerator programme, launched last week (23 January), which aims to advance the sustainable practice of its members.

Plans for the Horniman’s Nature and Love project will form the basis of a major funding bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund later this year.

Download the Horniman Climate and Ecology Manifesto here:

Horniman Gardens Bandstand. Photo by Ludo des Cognets


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