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A walk through the treetops

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  • London's Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew opens treetop walkway
  • Visitors afforded bird's eye view of previously unreachable canopy
  • Kew hopes new attraction will help people understand need to nurture trees
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- London's Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew recently opened an attraction that gives visitors the chance to walk among the treetops and examine tree canopies from a new perspective.

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The walkway at Kew is designed to give visitors a new perspective on trees.

The Xstrata Treetop Walkway, which opened at the end of May, is the latest design from London Eye architects Marks Barfield.

Rising to a height of 18 meters and stretching across 200 meters, visitors can walk between 50 of Kew's mature broad-leafed trees.

The walkway can be found in the woodland area designed by 18th-century landscape gardener Capability Brown.

Constructed from 12 steel trusses connected to 10 circular "node" platforms, the weathered steel chosen for the project already blends beautifully with the natural environment. The architects describe the end result as "a surprisingly natural, 'bark-like' texture."

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Tony Kirkham, head of RBG Kew's arboretum and project manager for the Xstrata Treetop Walkway, said, "As a trained arborist, I have had the privilege of being up in the tree canopy; experiencing trees at height and birds and other wildlife from a completely different perspective. It's fantastic that we are able to give visitors the same experience."

In what has been designated "Year of the Tree" at Kew, Kirkham hopes that giving visitors a new perspective on the trees will help them understand the importance of nurturing them.

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