Brighton & Hove Independent Friday, August 2 2013 11
Wildflower seeds collected for posterity WILDFLOWER seeds from Bevendean Down have been gathered and safely stored in the Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank to preserve them for future generations. The seeds were collected by experts from Kew working with Brighton and Hove City Council’s countryside team. The project aims to collect seed from the country’s best downland sites to create new wildflower sites in the city centre as well as providing seed to the Millennium Seed Bank, based at Wakehurst Place, Ardingly. The seeds were collected with a special "brush harvester" machine, which brushes the top of the meadow to knock the seeds out and catch them. As well as using the harvester, volunteers have been handharvesting seed that cannot be collected mechanically, from sites around the city. They include a variety of native orchids that requires specialist techniques to grow. The council has been working with the farmer and the Friends of Bevendean Down for 20 years; the site was the first chalk grassland area where sheep-
grazing was re-introduced. Jason Kitcat, leader of the council, said: “We are delighted that Kew has recognised how good the site is and have targeted it to use for seed collection for the Millennium Seed Bank. It’s a fitting tribute to the hard work and team effort of the farmer, the friends group and the council’s countryside team.” Seed collected is being shared by the Millennium Seed Bank and the council’s nursery at Stanmer Park, where it is being grown on with the help of a group of specially-recruited volunteers, to produce plug plants and create further wildflower areas in the city centre as well as for sale to the public. Ted Chapman, Kew's coordinator of the UK Native Seed Hub at Wakehurst, added: “Bevendean is a beautiful and botanically-rich site; we counted over 60 plant species in just a short walk through the site. “Unlike much of our remaining chalk grassland it is also relatively accessible, so is a perfect source of local-origin seed to support conservation and habitat restoration in Brighton and the South Downs.”
Lighting the fuse for entrepreneurs Richard Morris Fledgling creative and digital firms are being offered the chance to benefit from a support package that includes top mentors from within the city. Wired Sussex, a membership organisation for companies and freelancers, wants to work with emerging entrepreneurs to help them develop their businesses and connect with the ever-increasing network of digital experts setting up shop in Brighton and Hove. It has launched a new support service called The FuseBox Amp and hopes the pilot project can transform the businesses and live of six ambitious and creative people. But who exactly could benefit from their help? Wired Sussex explained: “We don’t care about their background, or how much experience they have. We are interested in the person they are today - and the impact they want to make in the future. “We are looking for people who have started creative business
projects which are still at an early stage and have a need for support. Their project might be a start-up, a new product or service in an existing business, or a project to pivot a business from one business model to another. “It doesn’t have to be the perfect project…yet. But their idea does need to be interesting because we’re looking for people with projects we feel excited about giving time, space and contacts to.” The Fusebox Amp will run from August 27 until September 20. And the support on offer will be tailored to the needs of the six individuals involved. There is a cost involved for those selected to take part – with a £300 fee, half of which will be due at the start and half at the end of the four weeks. Applications are now being invited online at www. wiredsussex.com, with a closing date of August 15. For more information, email: thefusebox@ wiredsussex.com or call 01273 692888.
Brighton and Hove Independent Issue 100 2nd August 2013