Regional Native Seed Bank project launched at Botanic Garden

A wattle seed cake being cut at Coffs Harbour’s Botanic Garden to mark the launch of the North Coast Regional Seed Bank Network.

REPLANTING and environmental restoration work on the NSW North Coast has a bright future thanks to work being done at the native seed bank facility at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden in Coffs Harbour.

The Regional Native Seed Bank project was officially launched on Wednesday 28 February by cutting a wattle seed cake during a workshop hosted by the Friends of the Botanic Garden.

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Focused on explaining the vital role of seed collection and storage, the workshop drew 45 participants from Landcare groups, Indigenous organisations and a range of government agencies from across the North Coast region and out west to Tamworth.

The Friends of the Botanic Garden have joined in a partnership with regional Landcare groups from Kempsey to the Border Ranges, supported by NSW Local Land Services, to test and store the seed of 100 native plant species that are needed for habitat recovery and land restoration projects across the region.

President of the Friends of the Garden, Graham Tupper, told News Of The Area, “The Friends have committed over $35,000 to date in funding and thousands of hours of volunteer time to upgrade the seed bank facility at the garden to be ready for this vital and expanded seed testing and supply role.

“NSW Local Land Services have provided an additional $25,000 grant for the seed bank upgrade and for the development of a regional seed bank database which has been a big help.”

The goal of the regional seed bank project is to improve the ability of community groups to collect, store, exchange, and supply native plant seed according to recognised best practice standards.

Andy Vinter, Senior Land Services Officer with North Coast Local Land Services said, “It is the first time these groups are working together to support this practice across the entire North Coast region.

“We are hoping the project will lead to an increase in the supply of local native plant stock to satisfy emerging biodiversity, revegetation, and carbon sequestration programs in the region.”

Landcare volunteers and Indigenous groups from across the North Coast have been busy collecting seeds to deposit into the seed bank.

Seed collectors are being asked to record detailed information about the seed they are collecting to ensure it can be matched to the needs of different local revegetation projects.

The role of the Landcare community is critical to the success of the seed bank as they are both providers and end users of the seeds collected.

Another role of the seed bank facility will be to provide a space needed to create a strategic reserve of native seed for use following natural disasters such as floods and fires.

Border Ranges Richmond Valley Landcare spokesperson Tamar Cohen said, “Broadcasting native seed has proved to be a critical remediation strategy for land impacted by landslides following the February 2022 flood event.

“Our ability to respond to this disaster could have been improved if we had more access to large amounts of native seed,” she said.

Local community members wanting to assist with seed collection should contact the Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare office, or their Landcare office in other regions.

The Landcare network on the North Coast is offering training to safely collect the seed of the targeted native plant species.

The Friends of the Garden will offer special tours for local community members to see how the refurbished seed bank facility at the garden operates at an open day on 26 May and will provide tips on how to store native plant seeds.

These tours will be advertised on the Botanic Garden website at and on the Coffs Harbour Botanic Garden Facebook page.


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