Adopt a County Flower seed for £250
People do not usually think of the UK flora as being endangered but with ever-increasing threats from more intensive agriculture, urbanisation, road building, pollution and climate change, it has been estimated that over 300 UK species are threatened with extinction from the UK countryside.
The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership thought it was appropriate to tackle the conservation of our own flora before undertaking projects overseas, and so the first phase of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Project commenced with the ambitious target to conserve all of the UK’s native flowering plants that produce bankable seeds.
It was thought that there may be a number of species that present special storage difficulties, for example aquatic species which disperse their fruit or seeds under the water surface. Research at the Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) has found that, perhaps surprisingly, the majority of such species are easily stored under standard seed bank conditions.
To date, over 90% of the UK’s native seed-bearing plants are represented by seed collections at the MSB. This is the first time that any country has underpinned conservation efforts of its wild flora in this way. Some of the remaining species do not produce seed in the UK, cannot be stored conventionally, or are too rare for a collection to be made without compromising the species’ survival. Efforts continue, however, to track down the last elusive species that do not fall into these categories.
We are continually working to locate populations, monitor seed set and make seed collections. This is not only from species not yet collected and conserved, but also species for which we need more comprehensive collections, either due to low seed numbers or insufficient geographical representation.
Help save the UK’s native flora
We have collected together a range of plant species, each representing a county in the UK.* Why not adopt a seed from your own county flower – or send as a gift.
In addition to the certificate being emailed to you (as a PDF), you will also receive a full colour, personalised certificate posted to you or your recipient, along with an image of your chosen species
You will also receive an invitation for two people to the annual County Flower Sponsors tour of the MSB at Wakehurst, West Sussex, held each June.
To sponsor a county flower seed today please look at our gallery or contact Jill Taylor on 0208 332 3248 (Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm).
*NB – Not all counties are on the list yet... but we are working to add these over coming months.