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Road-widening scheme threatens Wisley Gardens

A garden which attracts more than a million visitors a year is under threat from a road-widening scheme.

Alan Titchmarsh standing in front of the line of trees, some over 100 years old

Plans to widen the A3 in Surrey as part of improvements to junction 10 of the M25 include options that would be a huge "garden grab" on Grade II* listed RHS Wisley Gardens, the Royal Horticultural Society has warned.

The garden could lose 10,000 square metres of woodland and 500 trees including one planted by the Queen to mark her silver jubilee if one of the options being considered by Highways England goes ahead, it warned.

RHS ambassador Alan Titchmarsh said:

We must stand together and protect our gardens. This potential garden-grabbing plan would be another unacceptable example of this Government's poor perception of horticulture and lack of appreciation of the vital role that plants play for the environment, for the nation's health and well-being and for the UK economy. Wisley is the UK's centre of excellence for horticulture and horticultural science and helps millions of people to garden and grow plants.

I'm calling on the UK's army of 27 million gardeners to make it known that a disregard for these important trees and lack of appreciation of the national importance of this garden would not be acceptable if the short-sighted and environmentally damaging option was chosen.

– Alan Titchmarsh, RHS ambassador