This week we are launching our Banking on the Future project in partnership with the East Gippsland Landcare Network (EGLN). The project is part of our Bushfire Recovery Program, which focuses on restoring what was lost during the 2019/2020 Bushfires. It has been funded by the Federal Government Bushfire Recovery for Wildlife Habitat & Community Grants (BRCG).
The project is providing funds to establish a central community seedbank in the East Gippsland region, which will be managed by the EGLN. The aim of the seedbank is to store seed from local rare and threatened species, which will then be available to bushfire restoration or revegetation works for the entire region. There will be a walk-in coolroom, seed cleaning machine and an igloo for drying the seed.
Why A Living Seedbank?
Living seedbanks are areas where species are planted so they are easily accessible for seed collection. The image below shows a living seedbank that has been planted in a public garden, so everyone can enjoy the plants and the local Landcare group can collect the seed when it is ready.
Maintaining a living seedbank means seeds aren’t being collected from the wild, which protects the plants and allows them to grow undisturbed. For smaller plants, such as these beautiful wildflowers from the East Gippsland mountains, the main plants can be fenced in to protect them and make it easier to collect the seed. Not all of the seed is collected from each plant, so there is plenty to disperse allowing the natural regeneration of the plants in the area.
Some plants like the Buchan Blue Wattle are so rare that a special permit is needed to collect the seed in the wild. By growing and maintaining these trees in more accessible places like public gardens, we no longer need to disturb wild plant growth in the bush.
Want to Get Involved?
Anyone interested to learn about seed collecting can join one of the native seed collection workshops being delivered by Wildseed Nursery for communities from Bairnsdale to the NSW border. Give Wildseed Nursery a call at 0419 099 925.