A mass of garden vegetation has been installed at one of Heathrow’s departure gates in a unique experiment to improve the passenger experience and reduce stress

Travellers flying from Terminal 3, Gate 25 will be able to sit alongside a garden of 1,680 plants, including the English native Ivy and Peace Lily.

The so-called “Garden Gate,” installed by urban greening specialists Biotecture, will be trialled for the next 6 months. If the trial is a success, Heathrow will explore implementing Garden Gates across the airport.

On average, 287,274 passengers go through Gate 25, Terminal 3, every year.

Emma Gilthorpe, Strategy Director at Heathrow says: “with our new Garden Gate, our passengers can enjoy a natural sanctuary of rest and relaxation as they make their way through the airport, with 1,680 plants ready to see them on their way.”

Richard Sabin, Director of Biotecture, said: “the Garden Gate at Heathrow is the latest, and perhaps most iconic, living wall representing the advancement of eco-technologies in the UK. The world’s major cities are increasingly investing in green infrastructure, and the Garden Gate, both technically and ecologically, is cutting edge for its ease of installation, unique plant selection and LED lighting system. As the nexus of transit and technology, transportation hubs are ideal locations for green infrastructure to become an investment in public health and wellbeing.”

According to a Heathrow statement the Garden Gate is comprised of 7 panels, 1.8m high x 2.4m wide, each containing 240 plants. Each plant panel is fitted with a water reservoir and nutrient system which allows the wall to flourish for an extended period of time in an artificial environment. Advancements in LED technology enables indoor plant growth using less energy (e.g. more light and less heat).

The plant selection is largely based on early research conducted by Dr Bill Wolverton on behalf of NASA to prove that plants, namely the English Ivy and the Peace Lily, absorbed the air around them, translocated it to their roots, where organisms turned some air particles into food for the plant.

Various studies have shown that plants have a psychological calming effect on humans, says the airport