At the core of NRN’s restoration work is community propagation of plants and trees of local origin. Propagating our own stock from local sources (mostly from Long Mead Wildlife Site) prevents the hybridisation of local species and preserves the historic landscape. It also plays an important role in reducing our carbon footprint with no transport costs of plants and compost, enabling us to reuse household plastic pots or go plastic free. Equally important, it is a fabulous way of bringing diverse members of the community together, for collecting, sowing, potting on and ultimately planting out.


Junior Seed PropagationEynsham Primary School Eco Club hard at work.
Photo Catriona Bass.


Here is an example: Eynsham Primary School Eco Club group planted crab apple seeds from the veteran crab apple in Mead Lane and acorns from the oak behind Siemens.


Seed Propagation KindergartenKindergarten apple seed propagation. Photo: Catriona Bass.


The acorns collected by Nicky Chambers and the crab apples by Don and Judy Reid, the yoghurt pots were sent in by parents. The Eynsham Beavers even managed a zoom sowing session during lock down.


Care-farming-9438Raul and Team in the Long Mead Herbarium. Photo: Catriona Bass



On Long Mead Wildlife Site, Catriona and Raul Ospina Bonilla have been propagating wildflower seeds from the meadow with Eynsham community members and a number of young adults with autism. These plants were planted out in the Dovehouse Close Meadow in the autumn. Currently 150 cowslip plants are being nurtured for the New Meadow in the Playing Fields. This group is also producing plants for Long Mead’s Thames Valley Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project. The innovative nature of this project enables the ‘care-farming’ participants, who normally lead very isolated lives make new relationships in the community and build their self-esteem by working alongside community members who often struggle equally with the practical tasks.


If you are interested in local plant propagation please contact Catriona Bass ( More details about the  Care-farming plant propagation Group and how to join it can be found here.