A short history of Emorsgate Seeds
Emorsgate Seeds was established in 1980 by Donald MacIntyre who was inspired to pioneer and promote the use of wild plant seeds in gardens and landcaping. From the beginning Emorsgate Seeds specialised in the production of native British wild flower and wild grass seed.
In the early years stock seed and encouragement was provided by Dr Terry Wells of the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, with advice from Derek Wells of English Nature. This seed, with additional wild stock seed hand collected from East Anglia, was used to plant up our first seed crops on a one acre field at Emorsgate in the Norfolk village of Terrington St Clement.
The soils in this part of Norfolk are deep, fertile and stone free neutral silt, and this combined with flat fields and very low rainfall is good for growing and ripening seeds. The area has a long tradition of seed growing. We currently farm 130 acres for wild flower and grass seeds in Norfolk and have our office and seed processing facilities here.
In 1995 Donald expanded the business through the purchase of a farm on near Bath in Somerset and where he is now based. The conditions in the west are not ideal for seed production, but the lime-rich stony soil does allow us to grow species less suited to the neutral silts of Norfolk. Some of the land on our Bath farm is used for growing seed crops, but the majority is semi-natural grassland and woodland containing a rich diversity of plants and other wildlife. These fields have recently been accepted in to the higher level environmental stewardship scheme (HLS) providing Donald with the chance to practice what we preach and to to and develop further insights into the practical management of habits for wild plants.