Alasdair Hood's Story
Alasdair Hood, from Cupar, is the Curator of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden. He travelled to Australia and New Zealand, in 2012, to examine issues associated with the collection and cultivation of wild seeds.
As Alasdair’s work involves the conservation of plants, he explored wilderness areas, studied botanic garden native plant displays, looked at conservation programmes and visited commercial nurseries and seed suppliers. He visited the Dunedin and Auckland Botanic Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne to explore their seed collection protocols. He travelled to collection sites to discover what they are doing to conserve native plants and natural habitats. In the Urewera National Park in New Zealand’s North Island he also examined a specific plant conservation programme and visited wild areas within the city of Auckland.
“Wild collected seeds are important to botanic gardens as we need to be sure that the seeds truly represent the wild population. My Fellowship ‘field-work’ offered added value by observing plants growing wild, which will invariably lead to better cultivation back in the Dundee Garden”.
Back in the UK, Alasdair is sharing his findings. Staff and volunteers are encouraged to recreate the existing Australasian collection at the Dundee Botanical Gardens to mirror that of the natural environment. He is disseminating information to a wide variety of amateur and professional groups through a series of planned talks, and writing articles to suit the Botanic Gardens networking organisation.