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PO Box 7400, Upper Ferntree Gully, VIC 3156, Australia.

Our immediate priority was to reach out to our members, and as lockdown was extended, we became more creative in doing so. We increased the frequency of our communications through e-newsletters, letters, and social media – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and we also found that members kept in touch with each other via email, WhatsApp or Facebook groups and Zoom.

We have introduced fortnightly virtual talks from our National Plant Collection Holders covering fascinating subjects from irises and roses to peonies. Booking is available via www.plantheritage.org.uk/events and is open to all. More online talks will be planned for the future too.

Instead of the real plant display we had planned, we took part in the first ever RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show. For this we created a video introduced by our President Alan Titchmarsh, highlighting the stories of four National Plant Collections.

Plant Heritage has, like many other charities and organisations across the world, been affected by Covid-19. All events and major shows have sadly been cancelled or postponed, meaning our members have not been able to host meetings, talks, garden visits or plant sales since March. But the work of Plant Heritage continues and plants won’t stop growing because of lockdown. We have continued to encourage people to enjoy plants and gardening if they can, such as promoting our National Plant Collection Holders who were able to offer mail-order of plants during lockdown.

Plant Heritage has over 650 National Plant Collections across the UK, and each Collection Holder conserves rare cultivars within their collections. We helped our 400+ Collection Holders to maintain their collections and promoted those that offered mail-order during lockdown. We also supported local nurseries and growers (who normally attend our plant fairs) with our campaign ‘Think Local’.