The Temperate House at Kew Gardens was due to shut because of its deteriorating state. However, multi-million pound grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and private donations means a five-year restoration scheme can now go ahead.
The 150 year-old Grade 1 listed building is home to the South African Cycad and the Chilean Wine Palm, the world's tallest glasshouse plant.
Martin Stew spoke to the Head of Glasshouses at Kew Gardens, Greg Redwood.
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The inaugural service left London Liverpool Street for Shenfield, Essex, on the existing TfL Rail route on Thursday morning.
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