Two members of SEG spent last Thursday on a Flora Locale course at Wakehurst Place, Sussex – home of the Millenium Seed Bank. The objective of the day was to review the science and practice of collecting, the preservation and use of high quality seed samples for subsequent use elsewhere. By using some of the semi-natural habitats at Wakehurst Place, we collected seed which was then quality-assessed by participants in the Millennium Seed Bank laboratories. During the afternoon, grassland enhancement techniques and initial results were demonstrated. Seed specification, sowing rates, site preparation, seed sowing, plug planting and conservation management, including grazing, were all covered during the course.
A simple but effective way of storing seed and keeping it viable. Charcoal is placed in a plastic drum (with a well fitting lid). A tree guard is positioned in the middle of the drum, then cotton bags full of seed are hung on the tree guard. This allows the dry air to circulate the bags and keep the seeds fresh.