The Last Great Plant Hunt: the story of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank
Kew Publishing, published April 2011, ISBN: 978 1 84246 432 8, Hdbk, £28.00
About the authors
- Carolyn Fry is a journalist and former editor of Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society, and author of The Plant Hunters (Andre Deutsch, 2009) and The World of Kew (BBC Books, 2006). Carolyn Fry is available for interview.
- Sue Seddon is an author and former editor of Kew magazine. Gail Vines is a journalist and regular contributor to Kew magazine.
Kew Publishing brings you the fascinating story of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank which has been described by Sir David Attenborough as, ’perhaps the most significant conservation initiative ever’. The book will be a great read for all of those who care about our environment and the future of plants.
Illustrated with spectacular images, this book arrives at a time when it has never been more important to conserve seeds from all plant species. As humans adapt to a changing climate and planet, there is a pressing need for wild plant seed banks and the plants they contain. Consequently, an urgent mission is underway to conserve all of the world’s plant diversity. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank is a unique global asset - it is the largest seed bank of its kind in the world (dedicated to wild plant species) and contains the world's most diverse seed collections.
Over the past 10 years more than 3.5 billion seeds from nearly 25,000 species have been collected and stored in seed banks both in their country of origin and in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank.
In October 2009, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank celebrated collecting, banking and conserving 10% of the world’s wild plant species and the partnership now spans more than 120 institutions in 54 countries.
The Last Great Plant Hunt takes the reader on a journey that encompasses some of the most beautiful and threatened habitats and plants on Earth from the deserts of Australia through the alpine meadows of China to the rainforests of Madagascar. It explains the process of collecting and taking care of seeds, the uses of banked seed, and the future of seed conservation worldwide. It includes profiles of seed hunters, fascinating stories of ‘treasure hunts’ and gives readers an insight into the threats to wild plants, such as the impact of industrialisation on the depletion of the world’s flora.
To request a copy for review and for enquiries about Kew’s publications, please contact Lydia White on 020 832 5751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample pages: Available to view online at www.kew.org/publications.
Find out more at www.kewbooks.com and to learn more about Kew visit www.kew.org
An image of the book sleeve is available from the Kew Press Office at http://www.kew.org/press/images/books_2011.html
Notes to Editors:
- Authors: Carolyn Fry, Sue Seddon and Gail Vines
- Imprint: Kew Publishing
- Specification: 278 x 250 mm
- Page extent: 192 pp
- Illustrations: 155 colour photographs
- Format : Hardback
- Publication date: April 2011
- Price: £28.00
- ISBN: 978 1 84246 432 8
- Rights: © The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
All Kew Books are available to purchase from www.kewbooks.com
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class Herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international visitor attraction. Its landscaped 132 hectares and RBG Kew’s country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly 2 million visitors every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst Place is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. RBG Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10 per cent of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30, 000 species). The aim is to conserve 25% by 2020, and its enormous potential for future conservation can only be fulfilled with the support of the public and other funders.
Kew receives funding from the UK Government through Defra for approximately half of its income and is also reliant on support from other sources. Without the voluntary monies raised through membership, donations and grants, Kew would have to significantly scale back activities at a time when, as environmental challenges become ever more acute, its resources and expertise are needed in the world more than ever. Kew needs to raise significant funds both in the UK and overseas. Members of the public can support the work of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership by getting involved with the ‘Adopt a Seed, Save a Species' campaign. For £25 an individual can adopt a seed or for £1000 anyone can save an entire species. www.kew.org/adoptaseed.
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