Page last updated at 05:03 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 06:03 UK

Saving seeds from field to freezer


An international seed bank now contains 10% of all the world's wild plant species, scientists have announced.

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership has banked billions of seeds in the underground vaults at Wakehurst Place, Sussex, to act as an "insurance strategy" against future biodiversity losses.

Here, seed processing manager Janet Terry describes how seeds that arrive from all around the world are dried, cleaned and then stored in -20C underground freezers, where they can be kept for hundreds of years.

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