Banking for the future

An amazing thing is happening all over the world and the ongoing results are right on my doorstep. What is it? It’s the Millennium Seed Bank.

This is what they are doing:

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is the largest ex situ plant conservation programme in the world. Our focus is on global plant life faced with the threat of extinction and plants of most use for the future. The seeds we save are conserved in seed banks as an insurance against the risk of extinction in their native habitat.

Working with our network of partners across 80 countries, we have successfully banked over 13% of the world’s wild plant species. With your help, we are going to save 25% of those species with bankable seeds by 2020 (75,000 species). We target plants and regions most at risk from the ever-increasing impact of human activities, including land use and climate change.

The Seed Bank is located at Wakehurst Place, a National Trust property in Ardingly, West Sussex, just 15 minutes from my home. Here’s a view from outside and inside.

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Inside you can watch a welcome video explaining the work of the Seed Bank and then you can walk around the building watching the seeds being worked on by very serious looking people behind glass windows.

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You learn that seeds come in all shapes and sizes from this wall display to seeing the actual seeds they are working on right now.

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You can follow their journey from being collected in bags like these  in all corners of the world and then how you can help save a species.

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You learn how energy is used in the building and why.

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You can even discover who has been learning here this week. Imagine coming on a school trip here and seeing science in action, helping to save our planet, how inspiring for young people.

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It’s a great visit, make time next time you are in the area or follow this link for more information Millennium Seed Bank

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