Plant conservation charity, True Harvest Seeds, is calling on people across ROI to donate to help raise the £200k needed by August 31st 2023 to save its seed bank. Situated in Kilclief, the new structure will be purpose built to preserve the seed of the island of Ireland’s native flora in the event of de-habitation or climate change.
There are hundreds of native flowers and plants in NI and ROI and the seed bank exists both to preserve them and to research their DNA. It is currently situated within a set of temporary structures which are reaching the end of their lifespan.
True Harvest Seeds wishes to secure the future of the seed bank. To do so, the charity must raise funds by August 31st for a permanent structure to house its growing indigenous seed collection. The organisation also wishes to further develop its native botanical gardens, to protect and showcase endangered and beautiful flora.
Debbie Gillies, CEO at True Harvest Seeds, says, “True Harvest Seeds is essentially a gene bank for Ireland’s wild plants. We harness the science of seed conservation to safeguard our native species for future generations.
“We preserve seeds collected from populations of wild plants of native origin in our seed bank and it is of the utmost importance that we are able to secure a permanent, purpose-built structure, to allow us to continue our work safely and effectively for the long term.
“The Seed Centre will be open to the public and the seeds in the seed bank can be withdrawn for restoration or research upon application. As a charity, True Harvest Seeds and its seed bank are owned by people across the island of Ireland for use now and in the future, as seed collections can last for hundreds, even thousands of years in deep storage.”
“I would encourage donations from people across ROI to help us raise the £200k that is urgently needed in order to secure the site by August 31st.”
Debbie is accompanied by one other member of staff at True Harvest Seeds, along with seventeen dedicated volunteers who help with all aspects, from governance to collecting, to growing and storing the seed.
Michael Thompson, Trustee and Marketing Director at True Harvest Seeds, adds, “Conserving endangered plant species is vital to the preservation of our ecosystems. Many plant species are currently facing extinction, both locally and globally, and it is vital for us to help protect them before it is too late.
“One of the ways that we aim to achieve this at True Harvest Seeds is by seed banking and our members are working tirelessly to raise money to build the necessary infrastructure to continue our efforts.
“We need to raise £200k by August 31st to secure a permanent building for our seed bank and I would call on people across ROI to help us protect our indigenous plants from genetic degradation, hybridisation or extinction by donating.”
To donate to True Harvest Seeds, visit: https://trueharvestseeds.org/donate/