Seed collectors from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew gathered seeds from Godshill near Fordingbridge for a project to tackle pests and diseases.
The seeds will be added to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, which is tackling the threat by establishing a national collection of tree seeds – the UK National Tree Seed Project.
A team of workers spent the day collecting crab apples, due to their healthy population and the fruits that they provide and white beam trees, using pole pruners and throw lines to shake the seed onto tarpaulins which were collected to be dried, cleaned and stored.
The seed will form a significant part of a collection going on across the UK by Kew, Forest Research and the Woodland Trust, which will be an important resource to overcoming threats to forestry and woodlands in the UK, including ash dieback.
Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have provided £100,000 in funding, seeds from the UK’s best loved and most vulnerable trees and shrubs will be collected and protected in long-term storage in the vaults of the Millennium Seed Bank facility at Wakehurst Place in Sussex.
The Millennium Seed Bank already safeguards practically the entire UK flora in its vaults and works to restore native plants and trees to their natural habitats.