Reshaping the future for Plant Heritage

Plant Heritage is entering an era of change. Over the last 40 years, Plant Heritage has given a lead in cultivated plant conservation to the world and it’s vital that the charity is robust enough to continue this work for the next 40 years and more.

There are key actions that Plant Heritage is taking to ensure it is fit for the future.

AN OUTWARD LOOKING CONSERVATION CHARITY

Plant Heritage must connect with the wider landscape of plant conservation, so that we play our part as a national charity working to fund and deliver conservation of our nation’s unique gene pool of cultivated plants.

The world is facing the developing challenges of climate change and an increasingly urban society which values horticulture as important to its health and well-being. The socio-economic and cultural value of cultivated plants is even recognised in international legislation.

We know that the plants grown in National Collections or by Plant Guardians contain potentially important genetic material. We also know that these plants carry the legacy of generations of plant collectors and breeders who have built our nation’s rich and unique horticultural landscape.

Plant Heritage therefore, has an important and exciting opportunity to show that cultivated plant diversity is essential to all our futures.

A STRONG NATIONAL VOICE

National Office, Board and local Groups will need to work closely together to ensure that Plant Heritage has one strong national voice. Groups will continue to organize their own fundraising, education and conservation activities in line with the charity’s objectives and strategy. Close liaison between Groups, National Office and Board will be vital to ensure Plant Heritage works strategically and can record and demonstrate the full range and value of our national work.

RECONNECTING WITH OUR MEMBERS


In terms of its regional support, Plant Heritage is not a small charity. It is built of a wide community of people who share one passion – protecting our nation’s rich and unique flora. We are inspired by the dedication of our members and their passion for growing, sharing and saving cultivated plants.

We need to reconnect with our members – they can and should be a fundamental part of strengthening the charity’s future position. For this reason, we would like to replace Council with a system of ‘one member one vote’. This proposal was agreed in principal at the recent Council meeting and AGM, but will require formal agreement at an EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) in July and change to the Articles of Association.

STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF THE PANELS


National Office will be restructured into three teams, Resources & Skills, Membership & Supporters and Conservation to reflect the areas that the panels focus on, strengthening their role in the leadership of the charity and improving the effectiveness of connection between staff, Groups and Trustees so that everyone is working to achieve the same mission.

National Office will continue to focus on supporting conservation, raising money for and awareness of the work of the charity, and fully engaging with members, groups, donors and partners.

INCREASING INCOME AND REDUCING COSTS

One of Plant Heritage’s most important priorities is to retrench and recover our financial position. In reality this means reducing our costs as much as possible, recruiting more members and supporters, and fundraising for more grants and sponsors.


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Alan Titchmarsh

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