Seed Banks & Libraries: Preserving and Accessing Biodiversity – Webinar
Date Published: 29th September 2022
Seed banks and seed libraries play an important role in both conserving our heritage and ensuring our future. With the huge decline in both our native flora and vegetable cultivars, as well as the reality of climate change, it is now more important than ever that we conserve and protect as many species and cultivars as possible, to ensure that we don’t lose the DNA that will play an important role in ensuring our future’s biodiversity and farming.
Rare, heritage, native and regionally specific plants are particularly at risk of extinction. Join us to hear from three different Seed Bank/Seed Library projects and how and why they are protecting these plants in living seed collections. We’ll also learn how growers can access and interact with seed banks and libraries to help maintain this diversity.
We were joined by Dr Chris Cockel from Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, Catrina Fenton from The Heritage Seed Library and Debbie Gillies from True Harvest Seeds.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Dr Chris Cockel. The Millennium Seed Bank: Chris specialises in The UK Flora, Crop Wild Relatives, Medicinal Plants, and Invasive Species. His role coordinating the UK Native Seed Hub (UKNSH) brings together Kew’s science, seed collections and horticultural expertise to support UK habitat conservation in the UK. The seed hub supplies UK native seed and plants to support habitat restoration and species reintroduction projects. Chris has also worked as the Coordinator of the Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change (Crop Wild Relatives) Project at the Millennium Seed Bank.
Catrina Fenton. The Heritage Seed Library: Catrina is the Head of Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library (HSL), managing the national collection of around 800 heritage vegetable varieties. The HSL supports communities to grow, save and share seeds through training, events, and partnership projects. Catrina has worked for Garden Organic for the last eleven years and her previous roles have involved food growing programmes in schools and other communities. She is passionate about the role the Heritage Seed Library has to play in both conserving cultivated biodiversity and promoting seed-saving skills.
Debbie Gillies. True Harvest Seeds: Debbie coordinates and organises contributions from the members of True Harvest Seeds. True Harvest Seeds is a Seed Bank located in Kilclief, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Their main focus is on the conservation of Ireland’s native flora, but they also have vegetable and herb collections. Debbie’s passions lie in growing plants, setting out garden spaces and working with seeds from collecting expeditions, to working in the field, harvesting, cleaning and testing seeds.
ABOUT THE WEBINAR PROGRAMME
This webinar is a partnership between the CSA Network UK, the Seed Sovereignty Programme run by the Gaia Foundation, and the Organic Growers Alliance and forms part of a webinar series funded by Farming the Future.
The webinar programme focuses on practical teaching and farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchanges from farmers and growers from around the UK. The series is designed to increase knowledge exchange and learning on both the politics and practice of agroecology, seed sovereignty and food sovereignty.
If you would like to be involved in running a webinar, a theme or practice you would like to know more about, or have a specific topic you would like to present please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.