of endangered plant species in Britain and Ireland was provided by conservationists from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI), Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), National Parks and Wildlife Services of Ireland, National Platform for Biodiversity Research Ireland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Environment and Heritage Service Northern Ireland. Trevor Dines explained the importance of so called Species Action Plans and Steve Waldren provided some scientific insight into the requirements of successful conservation biology. Representatives of various Gardens outlined their current conservation activities including Treborth where we have been involved in ex-situ cultivation and research over 25 years with species such as Snowdon Lily (Lloydia serotina) and Spotted Rock Rose (Tuberaria guttata), the county flowers of Caernarfonshire and Anglesey respectively.
The Conference ended with open discussion on the most appropriate ways, in a British and Irish context, for PlantNetwork member gardens to realize the aims of GSPC’s Target 8 – “60% of the world’s threatened plant species in accessible ex-situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and 10% of them included in recovery and restoration programmes by 2010”.
Matthew Jebb, PlantNetwork’s Chairman and organizer of the Conference, skillfully cajoled a formal response from the conference – 8 main aims which appear here in draft form with an ‘achieve-by’ date of 2010:
1. 100% of Critically Endangered vascular plant species in managed ex-situ collections – this will involve Gardens in appropriate Action Plans and ensuring that there are back up collections as well. Treborth is already involved with the Species Action Plan for the Great Orme Berry, Cotoneaster cambricus.
2. Genetically representative conservation collections established for all vascular plant species with small, limited or rapidly declining populations – this is an important but rather neglected area – most of the species in the Treborth conservation collection are represented by too few individuals from too few populations, and as a result, cannot hope to preserve the full genetic variation of the species, so vital for their long term future.
3. Adopt cultivation and propagation protocols and make them available - so much to do here – need to document success and failure in cultivation techniques.
4. Become Partners – there are a host of other agencies all working towards the same goal and without their help the efforts of botanic gardens might well