UK Native Seed Hub
Providing high quality plant material, training, technical advice and research to support conservation and habitat restoration in the UK.
Species-rich habitats in the UK have been destroyed, degraded and fragmented at an alarming rate. This has reduced biodiversity and the ability of the natural environment to support our own wellbeing and prosperity.
We urgently need to conserve what remains and rebuild nature on a landscape scale. By expanding and linking surviving habitats with wildlife corridors and areas of active habitat restoration, conservation organisations and the government hope to create a resilient, nation-wide ecological network. Achieving this vision will depend on the availability of a diverse range of high quality, UK native-origin seed and plants.
The work of the UK Native Seed Hub involves:
• providing high quality UK native plant material for conservation and habitat restoration
• supporting UK native seed and plant producers, conservationists and others through the provision of training, technical advice and research
• building awareness and demand for best practice habitat restoration and conservation using high quality UK native plant materials
What we offer
Ecological advice for conservation and habitat restoration projects We work with land owners or managers interested in enhancing biodiversity, from simple land management changes to the active restoration of species and habitats.
Selection and use of UK native wildflowers in landscape design We offer horticultural advice on landscape design and native species selection, propagation and establishment to help you create beautiful and bio-diverse multifunctional spaces for nature and people.
Bespoke seed collecting We collect, process and store single species or mixed harvests of seed using hand, brush and vacuum harvesting techniques.
Seed processing and short or long-term storage to international standards Your seed collections can be stored to international standards, providing safe, high quality seed stocks for future use.
Technical advice and training on seed collection, processing and storage We provide training and advice on all aspects of seed collection, processing and storage.
Seed quality testing We can confirm the quality and viability of your seeds using digital x-ray, germination, biochemical and dissection tests.
Germination protocols for difficult to germinate species We establish germination protocols for difficult to germinate species using state of the art thermal and light gradient plate testing.
Request high quality native-origin seed
Our Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) holds collections of more than 98% of the UK’s bankable native flora, including many rare or difficult to source species. We are adding to this unique resource every year, prioritising multi-origin collections of key restoration species, making new wild harvests and bulking-up existing collections in our seed production facilities at Wakehurst.
Small quantities of seed, typically 50 seeds or less, may be requested free of charge via the main MSB Seed List. Larger quantities of seed may be requested via the UK Native Seed Hub catalogue.
Seed is made available for conservation or restoration use only. We cannot distribute seed for general garden use or for onward sale to others.
Please be advised that we reserve the right to decline seed requests at our own discretion. Seed distribution is subject to the terms of our Licence agreement, which you must accept before submitting your request. Download the Licence agreement.
We are also keen to ensure seed is appropriate for the intended site and can form healthy and sustainable reintroduced populations without damaging existing habitats or species. Information about the source location and habitat of our collections is available in the list to help you find the right seed.
Availability and pricing
To ensure the MSB’s collections are available to multiple users, we have imposed a maximum order size for each collection. We will supply the requested number of viable seed - the exact number of seeds provided is likely to be higher to account for any non-viable seed.
For large quantities of seed, we have the capacity to bulk up collections at Wakehurst but for larger, landscape-scale quantities, bulking-up may be undertaken by a commercial native seed producer.
Seed is provided on a not-for-profit basis, with prices reflecting the costs of collecting, processing and storing seed at the Millennium Seed Bank. For regenerated collections, pricing also includes the cost of producing and harvesting seed. Small collections cost more per seed to collect, process and store, and are consequently more expensive.
Charges are used to support the recollection of the seed supplied, ensuring that our UK collections remain a sustainable resource for conservation and habitat restoration.
Seed can be requested at any time and will be reserved for you until we receive your payment. To maintain the highest possible viability, seed will be stored without charge in the MSB until it is needed, to a maximum of 5 years.
When submitting your request, we will ask you to tell us when you intend to make your first sowing. Seed will be dispatched to you at least four weeks in advance of this date. Seed is packaged in sealed foil bags at 15% equilibrium relative humidity, the optimum for long-term seed storage. These bags should be stored unopened in a refrigerator or other cool place until just before sowing.
The UK Native Seed Hub was made possible by a generous gift from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
UK Native Seed Hub
Our UK Native Seed Hub project is working to enhance the resilience and coherence of the UK's ecological network.
Our Seed Collection is the largest and most diverse wild plant species genetic resource in the world.