Banking On Seeds

Banking On Seeds

Ireland’s native wildflowers

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in preserving Ireland’s native wildflowers. These plants are an important part of the country’s natural heritage, and play a vital role in supporting biodiversity and maintaining healthy ecosystems. Unfortunately, many of these wildflowers are threatened by habitat loss, climate change, and environmental pressures. We currently run a native seed bank in Ireland out of temporary buildings, this year we’re taking a huge step in securing a future for our essential conservation work.

True Harvest Seeds field, polytunnels, office, lab and storage facility.

A Native Seed Bank

At the centre of True Harvest Seeds is a seed bank of native seeds. These seeds are stored, as part of our high quality scientific collections, dried to 15% relative humidity and frozen at -20°C. Ex-situ collections like this are vital in protecting our native plant species. If populations are dwindling or declining this native origin seed is available for restoration projects. The release of BSBI Plant Atlas 2020 has highlighted the urgent need of our conservation efforts. The 20 year study recorded more non-native species than native with 952 native to 987 non-native species. Of those native species, more than half are in decline both in range and abundance. If this trend continues and we don’t intervene we may lose our native plant species for good. The time for action is now.

Looking to the Future

To safeguard our native plants and the seed bank that houses their seeds, True Harvest Seeds needs a permanent building. In this building is a purpose built seed bank, processing rooms, workshop space and offices. This new space will also open the organisation to new and exciting opportunities for the public. Fundraising is already underway so we can purchase land and unlock further opportunities for government funding.

Ireland’s native wildflowers and their protection are vital to the health of our ecosystems and the planet as a whole, so let’s do this! Want to know what we are doing to stop the decline of native wildflowers?

Exclusive interview with Debbie and Mike on the importance of wildflower conservation.

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