Making plant collections accessible for the future

Following a hugely successful Plant Health conference hosted by Earth Trust in October and building upon decades of impactful research at Earth Trust, work is underway to put in place a new project which will open up our plant collections to a wide new audience of scientists and researchers.

Originally planted as a series of timber productivity trials, the trees of Paradise Wood were initially cultivated to answer a specific set of research questions. However over the past 25 years, Paradise Wood has provided a range of evidence and data to researchers in varied fields and it is this flexibility that is the key to the future of Paradise Wood.

In line with the organisation’s new strategy, launched last summer, Earth Trust will make our plant collections as accessible as possible.

We believe that opening up our plant collections could hold immeasurable opportunities for the development of plant science, using our trees to unlock new research into as yet unknown questions.

As such Earth Trust will be a venue for research, rather than undertake the studies ourselves. Academics will be able to access our plant collections, including the meta-data surrounding each specimen we care for, to help answer their specific research question.

At present, Earth Trust is developing links with higher education institutions to ensure we can provide the correct infrastructure to facilitate multiple research projects; such as employing the necessary expertise, digitising our plant collections and making them accessible via the web. This exciting new direction will provide a host of higher education learning opportunities.