Seeding the Future: Local Land Services Seed Bank Stocks Up

1st March 2018

It seems remarkable something as small as a seed has the capacity to renew and repair our native ecosystems.

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services (LLS) has just completed its fourth year of community seed collecting workshops, funded by NSW Catchment Action, to increase community education and skillsets in the collection, preservation and propagation of native seeds.

Ivan Lackay, Northern Tablelands LLS Project Officer recently delivered two workshops in partnership with Stringybark Ecological Services. The sessions are designed to enable landholders to collect, process, store and grow the seeds endemic to their local area for use on their own properties, and for the Northern Tablelands LLS Seed Bank.

The Seed Bank was born in 2012 to supply the region with viable seed of local provenance for revegetation and restorative activities.

Ivan said 25 participants, including members of the Northern Tablelands Aboriginal Reference Advisory Group, completed the workshops over two sessions.

The first two-day workshop discussed plant and tree species, seed identification and best-practice collection techniques in the field. Participants were given homework: to explore their own landscapes and collect seed.

The sessions assist people to identify, clean, process and store their seed, and learn the recommended procedures for each species to plant to ensure successful germination.

“Once they’ve completed the course, they become accredited seed collectors. We can rely on them to collect and deliver quality seed within genetic guidelines and cover key principles such as plant identification, genetic diversity, and matching provenance based on environmental factors,” Ivan said. 

“We’ve also been working with Aboriginal land management organisations to give Aboriginal people the opportunity to participate in this industry and get back on Country. It was good to see like-minded people gaining skills and putting them into practice at home.”

Ivan explained that the knowledge and skills required for seed collecting are of growing importance, not only for landholders wanting to revegetate their own land, but for the region as a whole.

“This sort of species insurance is essential to the longevity of important species on the Northern Tablelands”, Ivan said.

“We can actually purchase seed from the participants, so we’re completing a cycle. We’re training people, empowering them, and then helping them generate income.”

For more information about the Seed Collection workshops, the Northern Tablelands LLS Seed Bank, and upcoming opportunities contact Northern Tablelands LLS Project Officer Ivan Lackay on 0455 031 598.

Media contact: Annabelle Monie on 0429 626 326 or annabelle.monie@lls.nsw.gov.au

Click for larger photo