Trustee of Marks Hall is appointed to Board of Kew

Published: Friday 21st April 2017

Lord Gardiner, Under Secretary of State at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has announced that Michael Lear is to become a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as well as being a Trustee of Marks Hall Estate.

The Board of Trustees at Kew number twelve members and each have experience in a relevant area for the purposes of governance of the leading botanic garden in the world which is also a world Heritage Site, inscribed by UNESCO. Michael’s portfolio is of horticulture, landscape and architecture on the Board.

Michael and his partner, Beverley Lear devised the Landscape Masterplan for Marks Hall in between 1990 and 1995, when also the European and English Parkland areas were designed. His company works throughout British Isles and one of the current projects is the restoration of Fulham Palace Gardens on the banks of the River Thames in London, which is one of the oldest botanic garden sites in Britain and a forerunner of Kew.

Historically the relationship of RBG Kew and Marks Hall is very strong, as Thomas Phillips Price’s bequest was to the nation for the use of Kew and has been constituted through the same Government Department. Directors of RBG Kew have either been Trustees or more recently Patrons of Marks Hall (formerly the Thomas Phillips Price Trust), but Michael’s appointment is the first time someone connected with Marks Hall has joined the Board of RBG Kew. Chairman of Marks Hall Graeme Fraser Steele, commented ‘I and my fellow Trustees at Marks Hall are delighted that Michael has been appointed to the Kew Board. I know that he will make a substantial contribution to the wellbeing of our Royal Botanic Gardens as well as helping to foster and maintain the strong bond which exists between Marks Hall and Kew.’