Policy of the Botanical Garden ‘Les Jardins de Pérouse’ for the period of 2020 till 2025

Policy of the Botanical Garden ‘Les Jardins de Pérouse’ for the period of 2020 till 2025


Policy of the Botanical Garden

  1. Note of the Author
  2. Introduction
  3. Purpose, aims and objectives

National and international context, stakeholders and user groups.

  1. National and international context
  2. The convention on biological diversity
  3. Global strategy for plant conservation
  4. Plant diversity challenge
  5. The International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation
  6. Climate change and global warming
  7. Stakeholders aNd user groups
  8. Research and conservation
  9. Education and teaching
  10. Interpretation
  11. Visiting public and special interest groups

Quality and standards of information, targets and review process

  1. Minimum standards for collecting new plants
  2. Minimum standards of record keeping once any plant is in cultivation
  3. Publication and accessibility of information
  4. Targets
  5. Review
  6. Verification
  7. Information capture
  8. Labelling

Landscape, Design and Representation

  1. Introduction
  2. General landscape
  3. Use of cultivars
  4. Representation

Collection Types

  1. Research collections
  2. Conservation collections
  3. Heritage or historic plant collections or landscape features

Acquisition, information keeping, transfer, disposal and deaccession

  1. Introduction
  2. Fieldwork
  3. Index seminum
  4. Other seed and plant catalogues
  5. Acquisition
  6. Policy for short term storage and sowing of seed
  7. Material transfer protocols
  8. Sales
  9. Deaccessions

Leadership, personnel and volunteers

  1. Core values

Environmental sustainability policy

  1. Introduction
  2. Purpose, aims and objectives
  3. Note of the author

Policy of the Botanical Garden

1.    Note of the Author

This document is an step in the development of the garden. It documents in writing the current principles and functioning of the garden.

I took the liberty take the texts from the policy paper of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. I am very grateful for both the BGCI and this garden.

2.    Introduction

This Policy applies and has relevance to the whole of the Botanical Garden Château Pérouse inclusive of the research- and test-gardens and the nurseries.

The national and international context of botanic gardens, across issues as diverse as the environment, climate change and quality of life, means that each needs to have in place a Living Collection Policy that guides its holdings.

In the case of young botanic gardens in early phases of development, it is particularly important that broad scope and flexibility are provided for within the policy. Additionally the requirements of national and international legislation must be recognized and numerous inter-related policies and conventions need to be taken into consideration.

Through the demonstration of careful and effective stewardship, botanic garden collections can be passed on to successive generations in ways that measurably contribute to conserving biodiversity, extend our understanding of plant science, and increase the benefits that can be derived from plants.

3.    Purpose, aims and objectives

The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that the Garden’s Living Plant Collection is well managed now and in the future, ensuring that all plants cultivated are fit for purpose and meet the needs of everyone who interacts with them.

In keeping with other botanic gardens from around the world the Garden’s Living Plant Collection Policy has been designed to take account of the following essential considerations:

  • National and international context, stakeholders and user groups.
  • Quality and standards of information, targets and review process.
  • Landscape, design and display.
  • Collection types.
  • Acquisition, information keeping, transfer, disposal and deaccession.

These will be dealt with in more detail below.

Key objectives of the policy are to ensure that the Living Plant Collection:

  • Integrates with and fulfils the wider strategic purposes and agenda of the Garden guided by its core mission and plans.
  • Is provided with a long term planning and continuity framework, protecting it from short-term pressures and changes.
  • Has all available resources coordinated and directed towards it to create the richest Living Plant Collection possible (defined by total numbers and diversity).
  • Is fit for purpose in all its roles, so that it can make a contribution to research, education, conservation, training and inspiring.
  • Develops, is maintained and managed to best practice international standards.
  • Is as accessible as possible (physically and intellectually), contributing to enriching quality of life and increasing visitor numbers by the provision of a beautiful landscape for recreation.
  • Recognizes and responds to the possible implications of climate change by making the best possible use of the microclimates, glasshouses, and protected proofing space.
  • Safeguards the verification, accuracy and integrity of its contents.
  • Acts as a framework for reviewing holdings, and prioritizing resources and effort.
  • Can be responsive and realistic in relation to financial and other constraints and imperatives.
  • Enables allocation of resources and priorities in ways that are pragmatic, sustainable, and adaptable to changing needs.

National and international context, stakeholders and user groups.

1.    National and international context

The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse operates within a set of national and international policies, acts, guidelines, action plans and legislative frameworks. National and international policies of particular relevance to the Living Plant Collection are as follows.

2.    The convention on biological diversity

The purpose of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the:

  • Conservation of biological diversity
  • Sustainable use of biodiversity
  • Fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from biodiversity

The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse strives to set the highest standards of compliance within the spirit and law of Convention on Biological Diversity, when acquiring, transferring or using living plant material. Areas of compliance will include:

  • Permission to collect
  • Material Access Agreements
  • Material Transfer Agreements (including plant release forms)
  • Scrutiny before acceptance of plant gifts from unregulated/non-compliant sources
  • Storage of documentation and access agreements for a suitably long term period
  • Storage of Convention on Biological Diversity transfer forms for a suitably long term period
  • Benefit and information sharing with donor countries

Other areas of direct relevance of Convention on Biological Diversity to the work of the Botanical Garden Château Pérouse include the following Articles:

  • Development of national strategies (Article 6a)
  • Identification and monitoring (Article 7)
  • In situ conservation (Article 8)
  • Ex situ conservation (Article 9)
  • Sustainable use of the components of biodiversity (Article 10)
  • Research and training (Article 12 )
  • Public education and awareness (Article 13)
  • Technical and scientific cooperation (Article 18)

The opportunities and responsibilities that these Articles bring are largely the responsibility of the Horticulture Team and will ensure that the Living Plant Collection is managed accordingly and can be used to promote them.

3.    Global strategy for plant conservation

The purpose of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation is the conservation of plants for which 16 outcome targets were set. Those of particular relevance to the Garden are:

  • Ensure that the Living Plant Collection meets the international standard of accurate scientific and taxonomic naming (Target 1).
  • Promote integrated conservation programs and the integration of research into conservation collections and reintroduction programs (Targets 3+8).
  • Investigate the cultural requirements of plants in the Living Plant Collection and document findings (Targets 7+8).
  • Grow as many Mediterranean endangered species as practicable and contribute to their development (Target 8).
  • Collaborate with French authorities and others in raising awareness of alien invasive species with the public and the horticultural trade (Target 10).
  • Co-operate with others by making plant material available to support education in its widest context (Target 14).
  • Use the Living Plant Collection as the basis for training staff, students and volunteers, as well as the visitors, in the science and practice of horticulture and related disciplines (Target 15).
  • Use the Living Plant Collection as the basis for taking part in networks at all levels thereby promoting the highest standards of plant cultivation and use (Target 16).

4.    Plant diversity challenge

Within the French context there are a number of actions that are relevant to the Living Plant Collection among those listed by the European Consortium of Botanic Gardens. These are briefly outlined:

  • Target 3 - integrating in situ with ex situ conservation and developing this with Target 8 (listed as ongoing action).
  • Target 8 – developing scientific and horticultural expertise for the ex situ conservation of vascular plants and reintroductions (listed as high priority additional work).
  • Target 8 – developing protocols and guidelines for conservation programs to release the potential contribution from specialist plant societies, nurseries and gardeners (listed as medium priority work).
  • Target 8 – developing collections to ensure that adequate genetic diversity of each species is maintained to support restoration programs (listed as lower priority or long-term additional work).
  • Target 15 – promoting training in whole plant biology at all educational levels, in particular to deliver more people trained in field identification (listed as high priority additional work).

The above targets provide an important steer for the nature and content of the Living Plant Collection.

5.    The International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation

This agenda, which is constantly evolving, provides a global framework for the development of botanic garden policies and programs relevant to biodiversity conservation. By signing up to the International Agenda to support the aims and objectives of it through the Living Plant Collection, the Garden will:

  • Maintain and develop the Living Plant Collection to a standard of maintenance and development and to a degree of accessibility (physically and intellectually) to meet the main elements of the global mission as listed in 1.4.1 of the International Agenda.
  • Help set agreed levels and standards in plant diversity conservation, integrating techniques in ex situ and in situ conservation.
  • Maintain genetically diverse and accessible samples of the world’s plant species in our collections.
  • Develop and implement best practices in plant conservation for botanic gardens.
  • Use horticultural knowledge and expertise to promote the sustainable use of plant genetic resources.
  • Develop and maintain plant genetic resource collections, especially of:
    ? Threatened plants of economic importance
    ? Wild plants of economic importance
  • Facilitate and provide access to the Living Plant Collection for bona fide users.

Other strategies, action plans and conventions impact the collection policy of The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse and these have been taken into consideration in the formation of the Living Plant Collection Policy. Relevant documents are the:

  • Action Plan for Botanic Gardens in the European Union
  • European Plant Conservation Strategy and Planta Europa
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

6.    Climate change and global warming

There is now little doubt that the world’s climate is changing and becoming more erratic. It is not possible to predict the long-term effects and impact on the Living Plant Collection but it is important that this Policy reflects the possibilities, as indicated by the latest international thinking. In its core mission and imperative of long-term sustainability in the way in which it uses resources, the Garden must:

  • Develop horticultural knowledge and expertise for plant species just outside of the normal temperature range.
  • Look for new opportunities for cultivation (benefits of climate change).
  • Whilst avoiding radical change, increase awareness of possible local implications for the Living Plant Collection by trying to identify groups of plants that may require relocation and initiating a repropagation program for possible plant redistribution.
  • Collaborate with others to identify species likely to be threatened in the wild by climate change/global warming and initiate or join with appropriate conservation programs.
  • Be aware, record, and report any new infestations of pest and diseases not normally associated with the Living Plant Collection, contributing to their mapping, monitoring and study.

7.    Stakeholders aNd user groups

The Living Plant Collection Policy reflects the diverse expectations and demands as well as particular uses placed on the Living Plant Collection by internal and external users and stakeholders including:

Internal stakeholders and users:

  • Science staff for studies and reference across a range of fields including molecular evolution and developmental studies etc
  • Horticulture staff for study of e.g. reproductive biology, cultivation technique and husbandry
  • Conservation programs
  • Placement student studies and projects at undergraduate placement
  • Higher Education student training visits
  • Schools and education programs
  • Lifelong Learning resource users

External stakeholders and users:

  • Science community including universities and other botanic gardens
  • The external horticultural community, e.g. allotment holders, garden clubs, horticultural societies, amateur gardeners and parks departments
  • French governmental agencies
  • Artists and those using the Living Plant Collection Policy for creative inspiration
  • Students who visit the Garden personally or casually
  • Public visitors – local, national and international

8.    Research and conservation

The Living Plant Collection supports research and conservation programs. The Curator and Horticulture team in the Garden will aim for the highest standards of cultivation, representation and liaison to support this by:

  • Cultivating as wide a range of plants as possible within the parameters of this Policy, our ambient climate and environment /soil conditions and available resources.
  • Liaising closely with science users to ensure the Living Plant Collection meets their needs as far as possible, discussing new requirements – provision of space, resources, and plant material at different growth stages etc- as appropriate.
  • Maintaining the highest standards of record keeping possible.
  • Where appropriate and in conjunction with others, e.g. the professional horticultural community, striving to maximize the range, value, and standards of benefits derived from the Living Plant Collection and all other collections (photos, seed).

9.    Education and teaching

Education is core to the Garden’s mission. The Living Plant Collection has to offer educational opportunities and inspiring experiences to a divers advances. It also has to offer connecting themes on diversity in nature to the diversity of human cultures. This Policy recognizes the importance of the Living Plant Collection and the Horticulture Team in providing plant material to support this endeavor on the following terms:

  • Good two-way communication on educational needs is fostered and encouraged.
  • Suitable material is provided in response to needs and regular dialogue with course providers ensures realistic expectations, good standards and efficient service.
  • Adjustments to the Living Plant Collection, for example loss of taxa that may affect course delivery, are notified and the implications discussed so as to identify and agree substitutes.
  • For resource efficiency, ensuring that cultivation for teaching is undertaken in line with requirements and avoiding waste, and that needs/holdings are regularly reviewed for this reason.
  • Where there is a regular demand on or for individual plants, ways of meeting this are suitably established.
  • Where it adds value to teaching, the acquisition of new material for that purpose is factored into horticultural priorities.

10.  Interpretation

The interpretation of new and existing plantings will always aim to provide for the widest possible audience using diverse, appropriate, and engaging media to add to the visitor experience and contribute to the Garden’s mission. Planting designs have been developed for the whole Botanical Garden.

Interpretation will adapted and achieved through collaboration between staff from across the Garden, including Education, Horticulture, Science and Marketing. Horticulture in particular has a significant contribution to make and it should be recognized that it may sometimes lead or drive the interpretive process.

The plants will all be tested in Test Gardens before interpretation:

  • Horticultural staff will be encouraged and expected to liaise with interpretation staff, communicating in advance any impending changes to plantings and sharing ideas for interpretation.
  • Interpretation staff will be encouraged and expected to liaise closely with horticultural staff and to discuss their requirements for plants/plantings to complement, support and promote interpretation.

11.  Visiting public and special interest groups

The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse will be a significant and iconic visitor attraction and recreation space. The Living Plant Collection, along with the landscape and infrastructure, constitutes ‘the Garden’ and therefore its maintenance and quality are paramount in serving the needs of the visiting public. The Living Plant Collections are the lynch pin creating the Garden and increasing visitor numbers is a vital component of a viable and sustainable botanic garden. This Policy recognizes that a poorly maintained Living Plant Collection will have negative impacts well beyond the reputation of the horticultural staff. In recognizing the importance of the visiting public the horticultural staff will:

  • Create areas of the Garden where, in keeping with the overall Living Plant Collection Policy, the primary focus is floral displays (recognizing that these may not be in regular or fixed positions, but will instead vary through seasons and years).
  • Maintain the plantings to the highest possible standard within available resources.
  • Work closely with Facilities Management, helping to maintain an infrastructure that supports and enhances the plantings at the highest possible standard within available resources, as well as recognizing the potential detrimental impact of plantings on structural elements which may need to be managed carefully.

Quality and standards of information, targets and review process

A Living Plant Collection is only as good as the information attached to the plants in it. The quality, integrity, accessibility, and way in which that information is used are paramount. This Policy identifies the critical importance of good plant records in the Garden’s Living Plant Collection and their value to its use and proper management. Elements to be covered include:

  • Minimum standards for collecting new plants
  • Minimum standards of record keeping once any plant is in cultivation
  • Publication and accessibility of information
  • Review and suitability of recording systems (and new technologies) to improve effectiveness of record keeping
  • Security and integrity of records

1.    Minimum standards for collecting new plants

The quality and extent of field and other data associated with plants in the Living Plant Collections determine and impact on their value and usefulness. Where possible the following data with a voucher specimen should be obtained:

  • Source (e.g. whether wild collected or taken from cultivation)
  • Field Name (meaning local vernacular name/s)
  • Type of material (part of plant i.e. seed, cutting or etc)
  • Provenance (locality of original genetic material)
  • Genetic variability (from field observation at time of collection)
  • Collector’s name/expedition name or code
  • Collector’s number
  • Date of collection
  • Country
  • Locality (meaning specific geographic location)
  • Altitude
  • Longitude/latitude
  • Habitat (from field observation at time of collection)
  • Associated plants (from field observation at time of collection)
  • Description of material (appearance from field observation at time of collection)
  • Images of material and/or collecting locality
  • Ancillary information (such as local use, abundance, International Union for Conservation of Nature category)

2.    Minimum standards of record keeping once any plant is in cultivation

Checking and monitoring plants on a regular basis with a periodicity of stock-take suitable to the subject are essential. A background half-year pattern of stock-take provides a basis for most collections with more regular monitoring for newly planted or susceptible individuals ranging to three-yearly checking of established woody plants. These checks should be conducted, in all cases, to appropriate standards and include:

  • Current location
  • Number of plants
  • Condition (important for maintaining health of collection and ascertaining propagation requirement and remedial treatments)
  • Size or mean lot size
  • Date and name of person/department responsible for update of record

The Garden aims to achieve its monitoring by exploring and harnessing appropriate new technologies.

3.    Publication and accessibility of information

The importance of published and accessible records of plant holdings purposes is recognized. Given resource constraints, the dynamic nature of living collections and changes in technologies, a published hard-copy catalogue is not envisaged. Instead all of the garden’s catalogue is accessible on-line, and ‘live’, with any sensitive information being appropriately restricted.

The use of new technologies are embraced by the Garden for:

  • Systems to map the Living Plant Collections and access to live maps of the garden
  • Techniques of remote updating
  • Touchpad technology for stocktaking, maintenance and care
  • Risk management/hazard evaluation e.g. trees, toxic plants
  • Links to interpretation and other topical interests

Ensuring all data are stored in compatible formats, with robust and regular agreed security backup protocols adhered to will be an expected part of the Living Plant Collections Policy implementation. Such matters form part of the Garden Wide Risk Register and are recognized in the Garden’s Business Continuity Planning and procedures.

4.    Targets

The use of targets to prioritize and audit work on the Living Plant Collection is clear and these also provide bench marks to review and drive up standards where necessary. Targets should not become an end in their own right and instead should be regarded as guide. Many outside influences beyond control of the Curator may radically affect targets, for example extreme weather and resource constraints, so a suitable degree of flexibility in setting and assessing targets is essential.

Any target setting for the Living Plant Collection needs to be in context with the types of collection and needs to recognize the diversity of attention and/or special management that may be required for its different elements. In considering any target a careful balance needs to be reached between acquiring new material and maintaining what we have to high standards – both vital considerations in curating the collection.

Accurate naming is paramount. As a young garden which has grown fast and already faced many resource challenges, verification of plant identification and naming are perceived as an area of potential weakness and a heavy reliance is placed the botanists to improve this.

Currently 85% of the Living Plant Collection is not of wild origin, with 15% being of known wild origin. Verification of the Living Plant Collection is ongoing work. New accessions should reflect the needs of the Living Plant Collection and should be of a quantity that can be managed with the resources available.

Targets for the Living Plant Collection over the next 5 years are to:

  • Increase wild origin ex situ plantings
  • To develop the Living Plant Collection from the current 6,200 taxa to 17,000 or more

5.    Review

When reviewing the Living Plant Collection it is important that the plant records information is up-to-date; therefore stock taking is a vital prerequisite. The routine rolling review should aim to cover:

  • Number of living families, genera, species, taxa, accessions and individual plants
  • Per cent wild origin
  • Per cent verification
  • Number of new taxa and new accessions
  • Number of International Union for Conservation of Nature-listed species and taxa
  • Number of taxa deaths and accession deaths

The Audit will be undertaken every year. By doing this Living Plant Collection trends will become evident over a period of time so that long-term impacts such as those due to climate change can be taken into account in developing the Policy. As with audits in other spheres, a suitable approach is the use of sub-sets of key families and genera as also microclimate sub-sets and geographical zone sub-sets for this.

6.    Verification

Verification is important because visitors, general public, students, educators, researchers and others rely on plants being correctly named. Reputational risk is inevitable if plants are found to be incorrectly named. However, it has to be acknowledged that the process of verification is resource intensive and can be slow, and for this reason priorities have to be set. The Curator and other suitably experienced horticultural staff should be involved in the verification process. Additional expertise and consultancy resource is not likely to be sufficiently available and therefore priorities need to be identified.

Verification priorities are:

  • Plants whose identity is unknown
  • Plants that have only been identified to family or genus level
  • Plants of conservation importance
  • Groups that are important to The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse for particular research interest (taxonomic or geographic)
  • Individually important plants connected with a particular collector or important expedition if of interest
  • Plants flowering for the first time
  • Plants suspected of being incorrectly named

All the above categories may include plants of known wild origin, which will take priority over plants of unknown origin and/or cultivars.

7.    Information capture

This is a sizable task, and the Living Plant Collection can only benefit from recording as much information as possible. However, resource constraints mean it will be beneficial to prioritise, for example starting the process with plants of conservation importance and those which are of importance to the Garden for research and science. Information capture could include:

  • Record of first flowering/fruiting of newly collected material.
  • Photo of every wild origin accession at various stages linking to the database.
  • Inclusion of any other data/information which will support the collection, such as horticultural notes on cultivation as well as use in landscape, hardiness etc.

8.    Labelling

Labelling is vital to link all information held in the records with the plants themselves. The current use and styles of labels at The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse are currently as follows:

  • Operational labels which are handwritten clearly for day-to-day use for example; at seed sowing or when cuttings are taken.
  • Nursery labels for germinated seedlings and rooted cuttings, which are white-printed labels.

The content of labels within the Living Plant Collection has as a minimum of the following information:

  • Accession number
  • Family
  • Genus
  • Species
  • Hybrid with parents (where appropriate)
  • Subspecies, variety or cultivar (where appropriate)
  • Section or subsection (where appropriate)
  • Country or geographic region of origin
  • Source
  • Horticultural information

Imparting information to the public is the reason of existence of the garden. The problems with labels in this context are clear. The limitation of label size, as well as the need for clarity and consistency overall, inevitably enforces brevity. Therefore in general more extensive interpretation should be offered by other means (see notes below).

Common names are frequently requested by the visiting public and lack of them is often remarked in visitor surveys. Whilst common names are desirable and suitable in some instances, more generally they introduce a series of difficulties, and particularly so in the multilingual wold of today.

The limitations for displaying these on labels are:

  • There may be many common names for the same plant
  • The need to offer multilingual naming

The development of new technologies alleviate the necessity of labels for the public. The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse is using ‘Smartphone’ technology making it possible for visitors to access diverse information in a multi-layered way. Our focus for the next years will be to write small articles about every taxon and taking pictures to complete the information for the public.

Landscape, Design and Representation

1.    Introduction

This part of the Living Plant Collections Policy concentrates on the visual and heritage value of the Garden, the use of cultivars and general aspects of collection display such as geographical representation.

2.    General landscape

In considering the landscape of the Garden the following should be noted:

  • A number of floral rich areas are to be included in the Garden, primarily designed with public amenity, visitor expectations, and landscape vistas in mind.

3.    Use of cultivars

Well documented wild origin plants and cultivated plants from other plant collections are at the core of a modern scientific botanical collection. However cultivars also have a role to play for:

  • Creating attractive displays with diversity of interest.
  • Teaching purposes since many are interesting from an evolutionary or plant breeding point of view, showing particular morphological features.

On this basis the selection of cultivars is just as important as of wild origin material in order to tie in with the policy or mission of the Garden. By setting out the criteria for selection, this Policy determines which plants should or could be grown.

4.    Representation

Within the framework of the Living Plant Collections Policy a ‘Representation Policy’ provides guidelines for layout and display of plants on the ground. Two of the most obvious approaches are taxonomic representation (where species from e.g. the same genus are grouped together for comparison) and geographic representation (where plants from the same geographical region are grouped together). Other options may include interpretative planting or climate change groupings.

The term ‘ecological planting’ is occasionally used to describe a ‘geographical’ or ‘phyto-geographical planting’. However, it would be better to consider these as quite distinct and an ecological planting should simply refer to ecological niches and habitat types. Any or all of these different planting representations may be used as need and utility dictates, but care should be taken in distinguishing between and defining these different types when used.

The preferred approach to representation should be an advance on the geographical model and feature species of ethno-botanical, conservation or education interest or a combination of these. All plantings should be designed with the potential for interpretation in mind. Consultation with interpretation and education staff is expected.

Any plantings that have a strong representational component likely to be linked to research, conservation or education should be reviewed critically with this in mind. The aim will be every five years to co-ordinate a widely collaborative consultation on the collections with other departments and relevant interest groups amongst the Garden staff.

The representational theme for The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse are Mediterranean landscapes from all over the world as they have been perceived in national parks or other parks open to the public in all these areas.

Collection Types

As well as the main forms of botanic garden display representation (such as taxonomic and geographical representations) there may be specific types of collection that require careful attention or special management.

1.    Research collections

The entire Living Plant Collections should be regarded as a research resource potentially for use by colleagues and students internally and externally. As such it is vital that the highest standards of record keeping, verification and cultivation are maintained to ensure it and its individual component plants are fit for research purposes. Supporting the cultivation of plants for research is one of the most important uses of the Living Plant Collections and ways in which it can do this are listed in under Stakeholders and User Groups.

Besides the botanical garden the research garden provide an excellent possibility to do experiences and learn about the taxon behavior before the integration in the botanical gardens.

2.    Conservation collections

Conservation Collections are those which are held for the following reasons:

  • As an insurance against loss or genetic erosion of the species in the wild
  • Species for which there is the specific intention of recovery, reinforcement or reintroduction to the wild in the future
  • Conservation research
  • Education
  • As part of a specific Botanical Garden Château Pérouse, national or international program

Any Conservation Collections undertaken at The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse should be prioritized. The following list, although not exhaustive, articulates a sound footing for such collections:

  • Priority for species (within families and genera) that are historically and/or scientifically important to The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse.
  • Priority for rare, threatened, and vulnerable species where The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse is considered the best place for ex situ conservation of that species.
  • Priority for rare, vulnerable or threatened, naturally occurring relatives of hardy ornamental or otherwise useful plants.
  • Wherever possible Conservation Collections should be integrated into a wider project that links different conservation techniques and other partners.
  • Whenever possible any signature collection should be submitted for recognition with the CCVS (Conservatoire des Collections Végétales Spécialisées) and managed accordingly if accepted.

3.    Heritage or historic plant collections or landscape features

Specific collections that are being developed and are core to The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse are the Mediterranean Collections. Other collections are largely ornamental and further collection development is part of the overall Horticulture Strategy Plan.

Acquisition, information keeping, transfer, disposal and deaccession

1.    Introduction

To ensure the development of a collection that fulfils the criteria described above, plants need to be acquired. This can include gathering plants or seeds on fieldwork at home or abroad, obtaining seed from Index Semina or bringing in plants from other collections. All these methods of acquisition require policies and protocols to create an orderly process, ensure that priorities are followed avoiding confusion or duplication, and ensure statutory compliance. Equally important, systems to move plants out of collections to elsewhere, to dispose of or sell plants (for example through gift or commercial sales of propagated material) or to de-access completely are required.

2.    Fieldwork

Fieldwork provides an important opportunity to acquire new plants for the Living Plant Collections. This however needs to be planned carefully to ensure compliance with Convention on Biological Diversity and sufficient funding for the undertaking.

Fieldwork would commonly entail a two year lead-in time. As it is an important method of fulfilling the targets and objectives set out in this Policy, well-conducted fieldwork as an integral part of the strategic planning process will help to avoid duplication and enable priorities to be determined:

  • A proactive approach to analyzing gaps in the Living Plant Collections should be taken by the Curator and any fieldwork organized accordingly.
  • Staff should be trained in collecting techniques and where possible encouraged to participate in fieldwork.
  • Minimum standards of field recording should be adopted as outlined in this Policy.
  • Funding such fieldwork needs to be done creatively, for example obtaining grants and funding from external sources.
  • Staff should be encouraged to be collaborative in undertaking fieldwork with staff from the host country and from other appropriate institutions.
  • Fieldwork presents valuable opportunities for public engagement and publicity. Liaison with the Head of Communications on this should be sought at an early stage to promote reach to the widest possible constituency.
  • Any staff from The Botanical Garden Château Pérouse on fieldwork expeditions must abide by Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, phytosanitary legislation and any local laws governing the collection and exchange/transfer of plant material. Appropriate care must be taken to evidence written permissions and provide an audit trail of documentation for collecting trips and collected materials.

3.    Index seminum

Many botanic gardens produce an Index Seminum as one of their main missions. The problem of acquiring plants from these catalogues is that garden-gathered seed is frequently of hybrid or unknown origin and therefore is of limited value for research. Such material is therefore best avoided. Like all plants they need to be strictly verified. It may be acceptable to obtain plants by this means.

4.    Other seed and plant catalogues

It is highly unlikely that plants from commercial catalogues will be of well documented wild origin, or if and where such plants are from wild origin the likelihood of compliance with Convention on Biological Diversity may be uncertain. Such material is therefore best avoided. However, legitimate commercial plant sales can be obtained. Again like all plants they need to be strictly verified.

5.    Acquisition

With the increased interest in biodiversity and conservation, changes in science and specific international policies such as Convention on Biological Diversity and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation necessarily lead to a method of prioritizing acquisitions that take these factors into consideration. Using these criteria acquisitions may be for any of a variety of distinct purposes:

  • Specific research projects
  • Conservation projects or interest
  • Education and interpretation in the widest sense
  • Teaching purposes
  • Historic collection or significance

6.    Policy for short term storage and sowing of seed

The storage and sowing of seed need to be informed by guidelines for best practice. Where quantities of seed are received from wild origin and viability is uncertain, it is clearly wasteful to sow all seed at once if only a few plants are required (unless there are only a few seeds). However due to the unknown viability and storage requirements of much wild origin material, it is important to sow as much as is needed and for any ‘surplus’ seed to be adequately stored or gifted to other bona fide organizations. At times seeds storage may be needed to:

  • Provide optimal storage conditions while waiting for correct season for sowing
  • Allow for repeat sowings of short-lived species
  • Insure against loss of an entire sowing
  • Allow for additional sowings or gifting if there are plenty of seeds within an accession and adequate numbers sown already

It is essential where plants are being raised for specific projects that there is a sensible balance between numbers sown and numbers stored for the future. A regular, organised programme for re-sowings of short-lived species needs to be agreed between the nursery team leader and team leaders in the Garden.

Where short-lived or annual plants have their seed collected in the Garden, it is important that such material is re-accessioned as second generation. This is necessary to ensure that the material (previously wild origin) is re-designated as cultivated from known wild origin source. Such practice recognizes that differences and genetic drift will arise for example, through open pollination with other sources, or because of the restricted gene pool held. Furthermore, due to open-pollination, verification of re-sows will be necessary.

7.    Material transfer protocols

Any material governed by regulation that is transferred elsewhere will, as a matter of usual protocol, be accompanied by a Material Transfer.

8.    Sales

  • No plant material governed by Convention on Biological Diversity regulation will be prepared for sale.
  • Sales of any plant material governed by Plant Breeders Rights will respect and comply with those requirements.
  • Any plant materials sold by the Garden for commercial purposes will be prepared in accordance with best practice horticultural standards and due care and respect for consumer rights.

9.    Deaccessions

Given the threats to plants and their habitats, modern thinking in botanic gardens is that the important genetic diversity of wild origin material should not be de-accessed. If a plant must be de-accessed then the following cascading procedure should be undertaken:

  • Capture as much information about the plant as possible, e.g. final verification, photograph(s), herbarium specimen, DNA sample – in an ideal scenario.
  • Offer plant to other bona fide botanic gardens.
  • If no botanic garden wants it, then offer back to country of origin.
  • If no other botanic garden or country of origin wants it, and it has no International Union for Conservation of Nature threat category, then the plant can be de-accessed.
  • If the plant has an International Union for Conservation of Nature category and no other botanic garden or country of origin wants it and if the plant is cultivated in less than five gardens (this can be found from Botanic Gardens Conservation International), then it must be kept.

Leadership, personnel and volunteers

1.    Core values

In order to create and sustain a climate in which respectful discussions of diversity are encouraged and take leadership in creating opportunities for interaction and cross group learning the botanical garden embraces the following, core values:

  • Providing a great work environment for staff and volunteers, practicing respect, and treating all with dignity.

Environmental sustainability policy

1.    Introduction

This Policy applies and has relevance to the whole of the Botanical Garden Château Pérouse inclusive of the research- and test-gardens and the nurseries.

The Garden recognises that its activities have a potential environmental impact, both positive and negative, upon the environment locally, nationally and globally. In addition, the Garden acknowledges its responsibility to meet the needs of the environment currently, without compromising future generations.

2.    Purpose, aims and objectives

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the Garden actively strives to manage its activities and resources in ways that are environmentally sustainable now and into the future. The policy also seeks out and communicate the Garden’s intentions to all its stakeholders including trustees, staff, volunteers and visitors so that there is clarity about its intentions and the expectations that individuals are expected or asked to support.

Under this policy the Garden is committed to:

  • Positively promoting environmental sustainability to all Garden visitors and through all its education programs.
  • Continuously seek to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Reducing its use of, and reliance on, fossil fuels by generating its own on-site sustainable energy through all the diverse means.
  • As far as possible using environmentally sensitive means of transport and work in the Garden.
  • As the site obtains its water from the Rhône river at the end of its flow and groundwater levels are getting lower the Garden strives to make a showcase of water infiltration possibilities into the underground.
  • Seeking to maximize on-site recycling and optimize compost making.
  • Maintaining the zero-phytosanitary policy and optimizing organic- and biological controls.
  • Encouraging and promoting the benefits of biodiversity within the Garden.
  • Protecting and where appropriate increasing the biodiversity of the site in appropriate ways.
  • Complying with and where possible exceeding the standards set by all relevant environmental legislation.
  • Integrating the principles of environmental sustainability within its policies and practices, especially in relations to those linked to sustainable procurement of goods and services.
  • Promoting and preferring local and sustainable procurement and sourcing.

The Garden will routinely review its systems and processes in relation to this policy endeavouring to maintain a continuous cycle of improvement.

The Garden will communicate this policy and strategy to staff, the public and wider stakeholders to raise awareness to all groups of their own responsibilities and requirements to contribute and commit to wider environmental improvements.

3.    Note of the author

In the next phase of the development of the Garden we will have a target plan but for now we are testing many techniques among which:

  • Water basins under greenhouses in order to reduce the temperature fluctuations automatically.
  • Greenhouses with plastic and shade tissue and their change in composition in every season.
  • Soil structure research enabling to maintain a zero-phytosanitary policy for all the plants.