Gondwana Project for Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
In February 2001 David Given completed a Scoping Report for the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, which gave details of a Gondwana Project [Appendix Three]. This outlined the proposals for an area of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens for a Gondwana Section linking, particularly, the plants of the former southern continent. Money has been set aside for the development of this area [shown in Appendix 1]. The final project will involve many completely new plantings and the moving of several other plants, some earthworks, a long time frame and new information displays. After an initial discussion with Jeremy Hawker, Operations Manager, Christchurch Botanic Gardens and with Angus Allen, Plant Curator, we decided on some practical, achievable goals to continue with the work of the late David Given. The aim of this project is to set up some educational aspects for this Gondwana Project which can be incorporated in the final display, taking into account that this will be a major project for the Botanic Gardens. In particular it was decided to try and link different aspects of Gondwana and to try and make the information available at different levels to the whole public as it is also near the Children’s Playground. It is desired that children and adults gain knowledge and information as they go through the Gondwana area display, as well as it being an interesting area with a wide variety of different plants and displays. Gondwana (“Land of the Gons” – a tribe in India 3 ) was first named by Eduard Suess, an Austrian geologist, describing some of the formations in central India which show typical developments of shared geological features. This concept was further developed by a German scientist, Alfred Wegener 1 . He envisioned a single great land mass Pangaea, consisting of a Southern land mass Gondwana to the South and Laurasia to the north1 2 . His work was partly based on the physical shape of the different continents “fitting” together, with western Africa fitting against eastern South America. The more recent evidence linking the different parts of the former Gondwana has come from geological features, flora fossils and fauna fossils. I have initially described some of these in the next three different chapters. As the Botanic Gardens Gondwana plan is not yet designed or laid out, I cannot describe the illustration methods and links for the different part of the project. These must be done with a common system for all plants, materials and links when the project is more advanced. The whole project should have a brochure with a map for people to follow and gain further knowledge, if they wish. The material set out here is available to be inserted in the brochure when further details of plantings, pathways and features are decided upon. I have set out background knowledge, some of which will be transferred to the project brochure, in sections 1, 2 and 3, followed by my suggestions for specific parts of the project. In each case I have set these up electronically so they can be transferred to information boards, or smaller information posts like the fossil connections and the botanic origins connections. The aim was to create a series of such ideas, in consultation with Jeremy Hawker, that could be used directly in the Gondwana project.