The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is the latest organisation to benefit from funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery. £100,000 has been awarded to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank to develop a new initiative to protect the UK's trees – the UK National Tree Seed Project.
Seeds from the UK’s trees and shrubs will be collected and banked in the vaults of the Millennium Seed Bank by scientists from Kew, partner organisations and volunteers. The Millennium Seed Bank, which is based at Wakehurst Place in Sussex, already safeguards practically the entire UK flora in its vaults and works to restore these native plants and trees to their natural habitats.
The support from players of People's Postcode Lottery will ensure that the collection of UK tree seeds already protected in Kew's Millennium Seed Bank will grow and become more comprehensive. Ultimately, it will represent the full diversity of the UK's tree populations. These seeds will be available to research organisations working on solutions to the threats facing UK trees, such as pests and diseases, and their control. These seed collections will be used for restoring trees to the UK countryside.
Dr Paul Smith, Head of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank said, “In the last 10 years a host of pests and diseases have shown us just how very fragile our UK woodlands are. Establishing the United Kingdom's first comprehensive national tree seed bank has never been more important. This funding from the players of People's Postcode Lottery will help us kick start this vital project to protect the nation's much-loved trees.”
Kate Pearson, Trusts Manager at People's Postcode Lottery said, “The work undertaken at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank is vitally important to ensuring our woodlands continue to thrive. On behalf of players of People's Postcode Lottery, we are delighted to be able to support Kew's Millennium Seed Bank. This funding marks the start of long-term support from players of People's Postcode Lottery.”
Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is the world's most ambitious plant conservation initiative. Kew's Millennium Seed Bank is the largest facility of its kind. Collecting and conserving wild plant seeds provides an insurance policy against extinction, supports practical conservation and provides options for the future use of plants for the benefit of people and the planet.