Plant Heritage awards grants to National Collection Holders to continue their vital conservation work

Plant Heritage is delighted to announce eight new bursaries awarded in partnership with Brother UK this year to its nation-wide network of National Plant Collection® Holders.

The bursaries, along with plant labelling equipment generously donated by Brother UK, will enable Plant Heritage’s National Collection Holders to continue their work in cultivating and conserving plant life. Now in its ninth year, over 80 Collection Holders have benefited from the Brother Bursary – a total bursary figure of £18,000.

This year one of the grants was awarded towards the cost of pest and disease management, the heat treatment of Chrysanthemum stools to clean stock plants of stem and bud nematode and white rust. Awards were also made towards the construction of display shelving for potted plants in National Collections such as Wisteria bonsai trees, and shaded areas to protect plants vulnerable to weather conditions such as alpines and plants that are young or recently moved.

A number of awards were made to educate and enhance visitor experience to National Plant Collections, including display boards with QR digital codes, pop-up banners and professional photography. Collection Holders also received funding towards research and curation of their Collections, such as a project to prepare herbarium specimens of each taxon in the National Plant Collection of Correa.

The judging panel included garden writer and leading horticulturist Matthew Biggs, and Editor of RHS’s The Plantsman magazine Mike Grant.

Speaking about the scheme, Matthew Biggs said:

"The Brother Bursary scheme is a massive boost to Plant Heritage and a wonderful opportunity for Collection Holders to take a positive step towards fulfilling their ambitions for their plants.

Judging was extremely difficult and the focus of much thought provoking debate but we are certain that those who received bursaries will benefit in their vital role in conserving threatened garden plants and spreading the message about their work to a wider audience".

Sarah Quarterman, CEO of Plant Heritage said:

“I am so pleased that we are able to extend our recognition and support of our National Plant Collection Holders further across the UK this year. The Brother Bursary means these Collection Holders are now equipped with the funds they need to conserve and record their plants better meaning it is more likely that the plants will survive for future generations to enjoy. I want to thank all those at Brother-UK who have been instrumental in securing this funding over the years to support the work of Plant Heritage”.

As part of the Bursary Brother also offered a selection of hand-held printers and professional labelling machines to be sent to Collection Holders after entries were put into a draw.

Images top-bottom: Brother Logo, Wisteria sinensis bonsai, Correa alba 'Starlight', Brother Bursary judges Matthew Biggs and Mike Grant with Plant Heritage CEO Sarah Quarterman.

Full list of Brother Bursary awards made in 2017:

Collection Holder, Collection and Area

Stella Exley, Camassia, Yorkshire
Pop-Up Banners - for use in Educational displays for the genus Camassia.
Caroline Thomson, Narcissus (Backhouse cvs.), Fife, Scotland
Funding for professional interpretation boards in the garden with QR digital code labels explaining to visitors why the Backhouse daffodils are so special, particularly for Scotland's first Daffodil Festival 15-16 April 2017.  
Linda Eggins, Aucuba japonica, Birmingham
Construction of shade area at Winterbourne House & Gardens, which provides propagation and growing on facilities for the Aucuba collection being housed at the University of Birmingham Edgbaston campus. Travel assistance for Linda Eggins to continue curating the Collection at the University of Birmingham site.
Fiona Butcher, Wisteria spp. & cvs., Cumbria
Display shelving for Wisteria collection - build a display area for wisteria planted in pots, especially bonsai specimens.
Judy Clark, Correa, Sussex
Correa herbarium - the aim of this project is to prepare herbarium specimens of each taxon in the Collection, to be deposited in RHS Wisley Herbarium.
Gary Leaver, Hill Close Garden Trust, Dispersed Collection of Chrysanthemum (Hardy), Warwick
Heat Treatment of Chrysanthemum stools - To clean stock plants of stem and bud nematode and white rust.
Kristopher Harper, Fuchsia cvs. (introduced by James Lye), Norfolk
Professional photography of the Collection - creating a photographic record of our National Collection, to aid in the promotion and publicity of the plants by using high quality images.
Robin Graham, Drointon Nurseries, Primula auricula (Border), North Yorkshire
Framework for shading - to cover raised beds holding National Collection plants. Primula auricula benefit from shading from too much sun during the summer.
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