We have specialised for many years in the production of true native British wild flower and wild grass seeds, and we take pride in being able to supply seed which is both genuinely wild, and of top quality. To achieve this with confidence we carry out the entire process of seed production ourselves, from the initial collection of wild stock seed to the despatch of orders to our customers.
Wild Stock Collection
We collect stock seed by visiting high quality, well documented, wild native populations and make hand collections of seed of individual species. Detailed records are maintained on the origin of all stocks, and increasingly we are propagating stocks from more than one origin for the species most used. Our aim is to be able, in time, to have available a range of ecotypes of the more important species, covering the regions of mainland Britain.
Sufficient stock seed is collected to ensure a representative sample of the genetic variation in the wild population, and after 3-4 generations of seed production the stocks are replaced with fresh collections from the wild.
Wild stock seed is used to plant up multiplication rows of 100-200 plants of each species. The seed produced by these short rows is harvested and is used to establish larger blocks of single species destined for commercial seed production.
Seed crops are field grown, in the open, using specialist machinery and drawing on years of experience. Each species requires a different approach to growing and harvest, and at present we grow up to 200 species on over 150 acres, divided between Limes Farm in Norfolk and Manor Farm at Bath. Harvesting of the crop is by hand, purpose built machines, or by combine harvesters, and the seed is then dried and cleaned using seed cleaning machinery.
The entire process, from hand collecting wild stock seed to harvest of the first commercial seed crop takes from 3-10 years depending on the growth rate of the species.