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National Wildflower Centre seed harvesting underway in Eden’s flourishing fields

The Eden Project’s stunning wildflower fields are abuzz with activity as the harvesting season begins.


The National Wildflower Centre team


The National Wildflower Centre team, with the help of their buttercup-yellow combine harvester Sunny, are hard at work collecting seeds sewn in the Spring. 

Seeds being harvested are mostly from cornflowers – the bright blue flower now largely extinct in the wild due to intensive agricultural practices and particularly attractive to bumblebees and birds. Also included among the haul are poppy seeds. 

In total, three fields near the entrance to the Eden Project are being harvested. For every gram, there is an average of 200 seeds collected. The project will see around 100 kilograms harvested over the three fields. 

Once collected, the seeds are bagged and laid out to dry at the Eden Nursery. After being cleaned, they will then be added to wildflower seed mixtures. 

The aim of harvesting the seeds at Eden is to increase the resources available for wildlife diversity and to help with nature recovery. 

The seeds are held in the National Wildflower Centre seed bank at Eden. Building up the stock allows the team and others to use them for future community service projects and creative conservation activities in the South West and nationally. 

Some of the seeds are also sold in packets through the Eden Project shop, allowing anyone to create their own wildflower garden in their own space. 

Richard Scott, Technical Director at the National Wildflower Centre, said: “These wildflower seeds from Eden’s glorious fields will help bring delight and colour into the lives of communities in the South West and nationwide, as well as supporting biodiversity throughout the country. 

“We named our combine harvester Sunny to reflect the notion that seeds are essentially condensed sunshine. We hope that the seeds harvested here help brighten up the many spots they will grow in.” 

Creative conservation is at the heart of the National Wildflower Centre’s projects. They create new wildflower landscapes in partnership with communities, businesses, local and parish councils, and other organisations, and run conservation projects that bring threatened species back from the brink. 

Their projects combine conservation, creativity and colour to make new wildflower habitats that support wildlife and connect people to the natural world.  

The National Wildflower Centre opened in the Knowsley borough of Merseyside in 2000 as a Millennium project, funded by the Millennium Commission and Big Lottery. It closed in January 2017 and in 2018, the Eden Project stepped in to save its legacy and build a new partnership that continues to flourish from its South West base.