Last updated: April 2015
UK seed saving initiatives
Ethical Consumer's directory of seed saving groups
Biodynamic Plant Breeding and Seed Co-operative
Based at Willow Hall Farm in Essex, the Biodynamic Association have joined forces with Stormy Hall Seeds and the Open Pollinated Seed Initiative to produce UK-raised seed that is suitable for sustainable agricultural practices, and provide education on seed saving.
Contact: Peter Brown peterbrown[@]biodynamic.org.uk or 01453 759501
Dyfi Valley Seed Savers (DVSS)
DVSS is a not-for-profit organisation, based in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, and is run primarily by
volunteers. DVSS coordinates the Apple Mach Register and Welsh Vegetable Project and appears to organise a ‘Seedy Sunday’ event every March, amongst other seasonal swapping events.
Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library (HSL)
The HSL is based in Coventry and guards approximately 800 open-pollinated varieties. Seed is collected by the Garden Organic team in addition to ‘Seed Guardians’ – dedicated HSL members.
Contact: enquiry[@]gardenorganic.org.uk or 024 7630 3517
Irish Seed Savers Association (ISAA)
The ISSA, based in Capparoe, Scarriff, was founded in 1991 and now protects over 600 varieties of rare fruit and vegetables in its seed bank. It passes seed on to members so that they can learn to save them and grow them, protecting Ireland’s agricultural diversity.
Contact: info[@]irishseedsavers.ie or 061 921856 / 921866
Lancaster’s Seed Library
Living seed bank based in Lancaster Library (from Spring 2015).
London Freedom Seed Bank (LFSB)
The LFSB is a living seed bank based in London. It sources its seed from a network of organic growers throughout London. The group runs seed saving workshops and events throughout the year.
Open Pollinated Seed Initiative (OPSI)
OPSI was established in England in 2010 by Peter Brinch. It aims to ‘raise awareness and promote the practise of using and investing in openpollinated seeds throughout the world.
The OPSI’s website has vast amounts of useful information and resources.
Contact: Peter Brinch firstname.lastname@example.org or 01342 822935
Seedy Sunday is the UK’s biggest community seed swap which takes place in Brighton and Hove every February. It is also a campaign which aims to protect biodiversity and ‘protest against the
increasing control of the seed supply by a handful of large companies’.
South West Seed Savers’ Cooperative
New initiative launched in October 2014 in the South West of England that hopes to train members (farmers and growers) to save and share a range of seed varieties that are adapted to local environmental conditions.
Tower Hamlets Community Seed Library
c/o the Women’s Environmental Network, 20 Club Row, Ground Floor, London, E2 7EY
Contact: info[@]wen.org.uk or 020 7481 9004
If you know of a seed saving group and would like to add it to our list please contact us via our web form.
There are many seed swapping events held throughout the UK, primarily in the spring or autumn.
The Soil Association have tried to map some of these events on their website.
However, there are so many events happening that it is difficult to map them all out.
To find out if a seed swapping event is happening near you, contact your local allotment society, community garden or Transition Towns Group.