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UHCW Library and Knowledge Services

We need your seeds!

Article Date
March 8, 2024

Not content with managing our huge collection of medical literature, online resources and our well-loved collection of fiction, the library team are now flexing our green fingers and getting ready to set up a brand-new seed library at UHCW! 

What is a seed library? 

Seed libraries are places where people borrow seeds for gardening, which in turn helps promote seed diversity and local food production. By setting up a seed library at UHCW, staff will be able to borrow and plant seeds in either their personal garden or on some (limited) space available on-site. 

How will the seed library work? 

  1. Borrow seeds 
    UHCW staff will be able to borrow seeds from the library itself, or from the Faith Centre. We also have a collection of gardening books that can help you make your choices about what to grow. You won’t need to be a library member to borrow seeds, but if you’d like to borrow from our gardening and wellbeing collection, you can register with the library online. 
  1. Grow seeds 
    The seeds you borrow can either be taken home to be grown, or if access to gardening space is limited, staff can use the courtyard space in the Faith Centre onsite to plant and nurture their seeds. 
  1. Donate seeds 
    Once you have harvested the plants, the seeds from that harvest can be returned to the seed library. We are also looking for staff to donate any surplus seeds they may have to help kickstart our collection and make them available for others to use. If possible, we’d prefer any donations to include growing instructions too! 

Why are we setting up a seed library? 

  • The library team are always keen to support the wellbeing of staff through our services and resources, and gardening can have a positive effect on our mental health, particularly in reducing depression and anxiety. (King’s Fund, 2016
  • This scheme offers a fantastic opportunity to work collaboratively across the trust and to encourage the use of space for those who might not have access to a garden. 
  • We also hope this will contribute to building a sense of community at UHCW. 
  • The scheme offers an affordable way for staff to try something new or encourage staff to affordably grow their own food. 
  • To promote biodiversity and preserve genetic diversity.  

Our seed library isn't quite ready for harvesting just yet - watch this space for more information on how it will work and how to access the collections. If you are interested in getting involved, you are welcome to get in touch! Email us via library@uhcw.nhs.uk or call the main library helpdesk: 02476 968829 Extn: 28829. 

We’d be especially interested to hear from anyone who has any spare seeds to donate! 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash