The re-discovery of the St Helena Ebony and terrestrial conservation celebrated

An Open Day to celebrate 40 years of the re-discovery of the St Helena Ebony and terrestrial conservation on St Helena was held at the Endemic Nursery, Scotland, on Wednesday, 11 November 2020.

In attendance were various SHG officials, schoolchildren and members of the public who were able to enjoy a full programme of tours, activities and presentations, organised by the staff of the Environmental Management Division (EMD).

Environment, Natural Resources & Planning Director, Darren Duncan, opened the event. In his speech Darren remarked on the re-discovery of the St Helena Ebony by Mr George Benjamin. He said:

“As a forestry and conservation apprentice under George Benjamin some 34 years ago, I was reminded in the latter years I worked with him that one day when we remembered his efforts it would not be just about his plant re-discoveries, but more importantly what would perhaps define his legacy was his sheer commitment and determination with the limited resources, information and tools at his disposal to ensure plants were propagated in numbers, released as far and wide in the wild as possible and cared for afterwards to ensure we never needed to re-discover species or encounter extinctions in future.”

Throughout the day, guests were able to view the shade houses where various endemics are nurtured, the seed processing room where seedlings are sorted and stored, and browse the presentation room which displayed information on and plants that have been rediscovered, including the She Cabbage and Bastard Gumwood. A kid’s craft area was also set up and used to raise awareness about conservation on St Helena. Also available to watch were short presentations from Edinburgh’s UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Plant Ecologist, Dr Alan Gray, Professor Quentin Cronk and Keith Manger of the Millennium Seed Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The day concluded with guests mingling and enjoying refreshments.

#StHelena #TerrestrialConservation #AltogetherGreener

SHG

12 November 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh