Seed Bank to safeguard North Coast environments

North Coast Local Land Services is working in partnership with the Friends of the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden and the North Coast Regional Landcare Network to develop a native seed bank for the North Coast region.

The project is improving the ability of community and industry groups to collect, store, exchange, and supply native plant seed according to recognised ‘best practice’ standards.

Andy Vinter, Senior Land Services Officer with North Coast Local Land Services said, “It is the first time these groups are working together to support this practice across the entire North Coast region.

“We are hoping the project will lead to an increase in the supply of local native plant stock to satisfy emerging biodiversity, revegetation, and carbon sequestration programs in the region.”

Landcare volunteers and Indigenous groups from across the North Coast have been busy collecting seeds to go into the seed bank. Collectors are being asked to record information about the seed they are collecting to ensure that the seed can be matched to the right revegetation projects.

The role of the Landcare community is critical to the success of the seed bank as they are both providers and end users of the seed collected and are active throughout the region.

The seed will be stored at a refurbished facility at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden in Coffs Harbour.

Friends of the Garden spokesperson, Graham Tupper, said “The seed will be tested and stored at the new state-of-the-art facility to ensure it remains viable for use by our seed bank members for years to come.”

The seed bank will also provide a space to create a ‘strategic reserve’ of seed for use following natural disasters.

“Broadcasting native seed has proved to be a critical remediation strategy for land impacted by landslides following the February 2022 flood event,” said Border Ranges Richmond Valley Landcare spokesperson Tamar Cohen.

“Our ability to respond to this disaster could have been improved if we had more access to large amounts of native seed,” said Tamar.

Project partners have been meeting for over six months to develop a Discussion Paper outlining how the group will form the seed bank. Andy Vinter continued, “The workshop represents the culmination of over six months effort between the seed bank partners to establish a regional seed bank.

“This initiative will support our industry to deliver better revegetation services and leave a legacy for the entire north coast region into the future.”

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