Tony Kirkham, head of the arboretum, gardens and horticultural services at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has been awarded an MBE in the Queens New Year’s Honours List 2020. This is for his invaluable contribution to horticulture over the last 41 years.
During his tenure at RBG Kew, it has been said that Tony has brought unbridled ambition, ideas and creativity to his work. At Kew, around the UK and indeed globally Tony has championed education in arboriculture as well as transforming practices in tree management and the control of pests and diseases.
Among his many achievements at Kew, in 2008 he led the creation and build of the now famous Treetop Walkway. He is also a published author of six books, and has fronted five broadcast series, including last year’s My Passion for Trees with Dame Judi Dench on ITV. A show which raised public awareness of the wonder of trees and their importance to our planet’s sustainability.
He has contributed significantly to the 12 committees and boards he sits on which span the horticultural world. His MBE recognises and rewards his many achievements in raising the public profile of horticulture.
Richard Deverell, director of Kew Gardens said,
“Tony’s award is a fitting public tribute to his many and significant achievements over a long and impactful career. His passion and love for trees and horticulture has captured the hearts and minds of not only those in the industry but of the wider public as well. I am extremely proud of all that he has achieved, and I offer him my very sincere congratulations on this extremely distinguished honour.”