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Harebells on the Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Photo by David Wheater on Unsplash

Harebells

Seeds of hope

A new voluntary initiative in Scotland aims to get 10,000 packs of wildflower seeds to vulnerable and isolated people during the COVID-10 crisis

A new, not-for-profit project – Seeds of Hope Scotland – has been set up to get 10,000 packets of wildflower seeds to people in Scotland who are vulnerable or self-isolating because of the COVID-19 crisis.


The organisers say that, during this challenging time, they've decided to spread a little joy the best way they know how – by sowing tiny seeds of hope.


The goal is to try to get 10,000 packets of native wildflower seeds delivered by the end of May 2020, in time for late spring sowing.


A short-term, donations-based crowdfunder has been set up to raise at least £500 to cover the cost of extra wildflower seed.


If the team can raise its stretch target of £800, this will also fund postage stamps and envelopes – so up to 400 people will be able to request that wildflower seeds are posted directly to their isolated loved ones.

“Our aim is to create a patchwork of beauty, colour and wildlife this summer – bringing a bit of joy at a difficult time," said project organiser Serena.


“We think this initiative could make a big difference to people's mental health, and hopefully bring smiles to faces.


“Unlike many other plants, wildflowers need minimal care and usually thrive in poor soils. They pop up against all the odds – and give a helping hand to bees, butterflies and other wildlife too. They're beautiful, they're valuable, and they're survivors – so we think they're just the right messenger to bring a bit of hope in difficult times."


Seeds of Hope Scotland's main method of distribution for its wildflower packs – with an accompanying postcard with more information, including on how to plant the seeds – will be with the help of Scottish volunteer action groups and community groups who are already helping vulnerable and isolated people by delivering items such as food or prescriptions.


This will make it easy to ensure the wildflower seeds reach the right people. And because these volunteers are already making deliveries for essential reasons, no extra doorstep deliveries will occur – which is important as it ensures the distribution process brings no added infection risk.

Harebells in Scotland
Bumblebee on cosmos

The hope is to get the first seed packs out to volunteer groups for distribution in the first half of April.


Three seed companies – John Chambers Wildflower Seed, Scotia Seeds and Meadow In My Garden – have already made donations to the project. Seeds of Hope Scotland is asking other seed companies for further support.


Several volunteer action groups have already said they will support Seeds of Hope Scotland.


The team is also asking people to sow their own native wildflowers seeds. They say that every seed counts, and will contribute to the huge colourful patchwork they're trying to spread over Scotland.

Ox eye daisies

They're asking people planting their own wildflowers to post on Twitter using the hashtag #SeedsofHopeScotland, or to their Facebook page, to let everyone know what they are sowing and where.


Companies able to donate seeds – and volunteer groups who would like seeds to distribute – can contact the project at hello@seedsofhope.scot.


To support the crowdfunding appeal, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/seeds-of-hope-scotland.


Visit www.seedsofhope.scot for more details. Follow Seeds of Hope Scotland on Twitter @SeedsOfHopeScot and Facebook at @SeedsofHopeScotland.

Donations making a difference

John Chambers Wildflower Seed – the first company to commit to donating seeds – donated a large quantity of their beautiful Cornfield Annuals 100% wildflower seed mix.


Leading Scottish wildflower seed producers Scotia Seeds are based in Angus.  Their crops are grown from small collections made in the wild around Scotland, and each can be traced back to its original site. Scotia Seeds donated some of their gorgeous Cornfield Annuals 100% wildflower seed mix.


Meadow In My Garden is a community interest company with a love of nature, and is committed to helping more people grow wildlife-friendly flower meadows. The company donated some of its bee-friendly seed mix.


Other support has come from Dundee-based printing company Tradeprint, which produced 10,000 postcards to accompany the seed packets at a fraction of their usual price.


Stationery supplier Ideal Envelopes gave a significant discount on the 10,000 seed envelopes needed to package the wildflower seeds safely.


Somerset-based Habitat Aid promotes and sells British native trees, hedging, aquatic plants, wildflower seed and heritage fruit trees. They also offer groundwork, planting, seeding and ecological services. Habitat Aid's support for Seeds of Hope Scotland includes providing expert advice on wildflowers and donating to the crowdfunding appeal from their own wildflower seed sales.


Seeds of Hope Scotland postcard image
Seeds of Hope Scotland postcard text

The postcard sent out with Seeds of Hope Scotland's wildflower seeds

Little Green Space April 2020