Sustainability and Automower® meet at Kew Gardens

With their ambitious climate positive plans, it made sense for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to partner with Husqvarna and Automower® to support the horticulturalists and build on those plans.

Three commercial robotic lawn mowers have been installed at Kew Gardens in Southwest London –
two 550 EPOS robotic mowers and one 535AWD. In addition one 550 EPOS mower has been installed at Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex.

The robotic mowers are being used by horticulturists to help lawn management in areas of both gardens, freeing up time for the team at Kew to look after one of the most diverse living collections in the world.

RBG Kew plans to become climate positive by 2030. The introduction of electric autonomous mowers enables a reduction in carbon emissions when compared to petrol alternatives, with the added benefits of reducing cost and noise emissions too.

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 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 environment. 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.

The practice of setting aside space for longer and flowering grasses is something that Husqvarna also highly recommends and was the thinking behind introducing Rewilding Mode for Automower®: The world’s first feature enabling you to set aside 10% of your lawn for biodiversity.

Yvette Henshall-Bell, President of Husqvarna Global Pro commented:

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 organisations and companies to make the shift, and harvest the benefits of new technology.

Simon Toomer, Curator of Living Collections at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said: 

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 rolled out at Kew Gardens in June.

Robotic Mowing for Homeowners, Professional and Sport