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Workshop on Seed Use for Native Vegetation Restoration

Valley Hotel Academy, Kurri Kurri TAFE campus
9th April 2014


The Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC) delivered a workshop on seed collection, storage and use for native vegetation restoration in the Hunter Valley NSW in April 2014. The workshop was supported by the Hunter Local land Services.

It was the third time this workshop, based on ANPC’s Plant Germplasm Conservation Guidelines, has been delivered.

The workshop was attended by a range of stakeholders in plant conservation, with 28 participants and six presenters attending

Learning was through a combination of theory presentations, practicals and case studies.


The first half of the day focussed on theory, with a number of presentations from Karen Sommerville and Graeme Errington (pictured above) from the Australian PlantBank.

Karen gave an introduction to collecting, storing and using seed for native vegetation restoration and also provided an overview of seed germination and dormancy.


Graeme provided an overview of how to develop a seed collection strategy and seed collection methods. Pictured above is a range of equipment that can assist in seed collection.


Graeme also demonstrated hygiene considerations to prevent disease spread when collecting seed. Pictured above is a field kit for reducing the risk of transporting myrtle rust or phythophthora between sites when collecting seeds. This kit includes a brush to clean dirt from shoes, spray bottle containing 70% metho for spraying boots, bucket for bleach bath (also for boots), disposable overalls, plastic bags to put contaminated clothes in, disposable gloves and a change of clothes.


The theory presentations ended with a presentation from Graeme on seed banking: cleaning, storage, testing and longevity.


Participants then applied their newfound knowledge of seed viability testing in a lab-based practical activity.

The afternoon session included four case studies. Click on the images below to download a pdf of the presentation slides.


Paul Gibson-Roy from Greening Australia provided a national overview of the use of seed production areas to increase seed available for restoration (please note this is 10MB).


John Moen from Antechinus Environmental Services and Trees In Newcastle spoke about the use of seed in restoration from the perspective of a restoration ecologist working in the Hunter Valley.


Karen Sommerville then shared tips for better collections from tricky species.


The final case study for the day was from Nola Hancock from Macquarie University who shared the results of her research into the importance of local provenance seed.

The workshop closed with a discussion session on “Limits to the effective and efficient use of seed in the hunter catchment and strategies to overcome these limits.” A summary of the outcomes of this discussion session and follow-up liaison with local seed practitioners can be downloaded here.

The ANPC would like to thank Hunter Local Land Services, all presenters, and the local seed-use experts who attended the afternoon discussion session, including: Greg Major from Future Harvest, Max Elliot from Grow Local Native Plants, Noel Jupp from Riverdene Nurseries, and Carmen Castor from University of Newcastle’s Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration. We would also like to thank Jenny Wightman & Lachlan Anderson from Hunter Indigenous Plants for providing comment prior to the workshop.

More information

Workshop program

Workshop flyer

Additional workshop images

Would you like a plant identification workshop similar to this in your region? Contact the ANPC National Office to discuss opportunities.