Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Britain’s biggest tourist magnets. It has had a no-dogs policy since it opened to the public in 1840. But staff who live inside the manicured grounds are allowed to keep canines. Today we can reveal a Scottish Terrier called Archie has lived in the grounds for nearly 8 years! The first, we hope, of many.

In August, Richard Barley, the Director of Horticulture and Learning – in effect the number two – at Kew Gardens joined the London Scottie Club and agreed to a short interview with us.

Apart from competition from parakeets and one flight landing at London Heathrow during the interview, Richard was able to tell us about the Tea-Time Storm that Archie puts on, and discussed how he would like to introduce a trial to welcome dog owners with their canine companions into Kew Gardens for the first time. Judging by how well Archie behaves – and does not mutilate the famous gardens – we think he may become our best hope yet for dog admissions! Perhaps Archie can do for park admissions reform in 2021 what Fala did for US foreign policy in 1941.

This interview is also available as a podcast from London Scottie Radio.

With the iconic backdrop of the imposing red-brick Kew Palace – which famously became home to the estranged monarch King George III – hear about what it means for Archie to have 300 acres to roam when the public are not visiting. Bliss!


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