Seeds For A Rainy Day

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A rare insight into plant collecting as Sandra Sykes joins plant collectors in the wilds of South Africa in pursuit of rare seeds for the Millennium Seed Bank Project set up by the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, to preserve species threatened with extinction. Once collected the seeds are kept in safe keeping and can be stored for hundreds of years, remaining viable so that they may be propagated on some future rainy day. Overall the Millennium Seed Bank Project, in the 16 countries where it currently operates, is aiming to collect research and conserve seeds from twenty four thousand species. The dozen or so collected over a few days seems a drop in the ocean and the difficulty of such an ambitious project is experienced first hand as well as the sheer exhilaration of being part of a venture which is ensuring that the world continues to be filled with such an extraordinary variety of plants.