The Environmental Management Division (EMD), at Scotland, has recently been trialling a new ‘Seed Aspirator’ – used to clean seed by separating the good seed from other debris. This greatly reduces the amount of time required to process seed collections, freeing up time to spend on other valuable conservation work.
The design of the aspirator was researched by Head of EMD, Ben Sansom, based on a design used at Kew Gardens in the UK, which utilises a vacuum cleaner (see photo attached). The aspirator was kindly built by Darren Williams with funding from the Airport Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP).
EMD Nursery Officer, Vanessa Thomas-Williams, explains:
“The first seed cleaned by the Seed Aspirator was Cliff Top Grass (Eragrostis episcopulus) – a very small seed. The debris and seed were separated quickly, with the aspirator working well.
“We still need to trial the aspirator with different seed types, due to size and weight variations, and to make small adjustments. But all in all, I am sure that this new equipment will help to speed up the seed cleaning process, which ordinarily can take a very long time.”
19 June 2015