As part of Foresight’s sustainability partnership with the Eden Project, the National Wildflower Centre (“NWC”) carried out wildflower seed collections at two of our forestry assets in Scotland; Upper Barr and Fordie.
The aim of the sessions is to create new wildflower habitats that support wildlife and biodiversity, whilst connecting people to the natural world. UK wildflower prevalence has declined significantly since WWII, so partnering with the NWC to restore wildflower habitats and enhance biodiversity across the British landscape is vital.
Working with members of the local community and Foresight staff, attendees were taught about the importance of local provenance wildflower seeds. They were shown how and when to harvest the seeds, where they are cleaned and stored at the NWC, and how they will be used to support future nature recovery projects on Foresight’s assets.
During the seed collections, participants were able to identify the species using a hand-lens and field guide, focusing their search on specific areas where certain species are accessible and abundant.
Here are some of the varieties of wildflower seeds our groups harvested at Upper Barr and Fordie:
- Whorled Caraway Carum verticillatum: Within Scotland, this species is only locally common in the West. This site provides an important stronghold population.
- Tormentil Potentilla erecta: Common and easily identifiable, this species is often still in flower late-season.
- Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris: An easy to identify species with large seeds, it was chosen to enable a wide range of ages to participate in the activity.
- Harebell/Scottish Bluebell Campanula rotundifolia: Valuable species with a dust-like seed, though its seedheads can be difficult to spot.
- Lady’s Bedstraw Galium verum: A common and easily identifiable species with a sweet scent and wide-ranging uses.
Alongside the onsite seed collection training, the Eden team held an online training session for Foresight asset managers and operators to help them identify and harvest wildflower seeds across the wider Foresight portfolio. This online session has sparked a lot of interest across various asset types and will help to further diversify Foresight’s wildflower seed bank.
Foresight recognises the scale at which global ecosystems are under threat and its position to initiate changes to mitigate the risks. Biodiversity loss will have significant macroeconomic and financial implications due to reductions in the productivity and resilience of ecosystems along supply chains. Foresight’s 16,000+ Hectares of forestry land under management in the UK alone provides an opportunity to contribute to increasing biodiversity.
To find out more about our sustainability partnership with the Eden Project, click here. You can also join our Eden Project mailing list if you’d like to receive regular updates.
For more information, please contact our sustainability team: