Plant Heritage is working with its network of passionate plant experts, National Plant Collection Holders, to secure the future of over 100,000 different plants around the UK and Ireland. This figure was released in the report outlining Plant Heritage’s impact in 2016, which was launched this week.
Plant Heritage has over 400 Collection Holders, who are plant experts documenting, developing and conserving their plants for the future in 625 National Plant Collections®. All National Plant Collections are now allocated categories, and there are 288 Horticultural, 294 Reference and 43 Historic Collections. The new category system gives an insight into why a Collection Holder sets out to collect particular plants, and their vision for how the Collection will develop. Find out more about the new categories on the website.
The 2016 Impact Report says that Plant Heritage identified and recommended conservation action plans for 546 named plants, identified by Threatened Plants research as being potentially ‘threatened in cultivation’, as part of working with applicants of National Plant Collections. There has been a 28% increase in the number of Plant Heritage members acting as Plant Guardians to conserve one or more plants that are considered rare or threatened in the UK and Ireland, from their own back garden, greenhouse, allotment or windowsill. 366 members also propagated and donated rare and unusual plants for the free annual Plant Exchange organised by the charity.
The report also celebrated the Plant Heritage volunteers who devote so much of their time and energy to support plant conservation. In 2016, Plant Heritage volunteers in regional groups gave an estimated 22,000 hours to support our local group network and conservation in their local areas. With 400 members being trained in plant conservation skills such as propagation, 180 education talks being given to over 7,000 people, 140 plant fairs and events, 105 garden visits for 2,500 members and 76 newsletters being written.
Plant Heritage CEO Sarah Quarterman said:
“Plant Heritage has been working for almost 40 years to safeguard the rich diversity of garden plants and this report showcases the impact the charity has had in just one year. In this report we celebrate the achievements of our Collection Holders who tirelessly conserve their precious cultivars so that these plants will be around for future generations to come, and our devoted volunteers who dedicate so much time to support our local group network and conservation in their local areas. Not least, we want to thank our members and hope this report shows them the difference that their support makes to help us keep rare and unusual plants growing.”