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12 Exciting UK Seed Swaps for 2019

Seed swaps are important for the future of our food production and each year people gather all over the UK to swap and exchange seeds. We thought it would be helpful to put these swaps into a list so you can easily find one happening near you. If we’re missing one be sure to email us so we can add it for other people to find.


Seed swaps are extremely important as they help combat the seed monoculture that’s been encouraged by commodification. Most seed company profits are made from selling to large scale growers like farmers and market gardeners. When seeds are bred for commercial purposes they often don’t breed true to type which means that the grower is continually reliant on the company to produce the seed. While this is good for business it has been detrimental to seed biodiversity as many farmers and growers stopped cultivation of heritage varieties in favour of uniform seed which was (and is still) often perceived as being more reliable.

We need to ensure we use and value heritage seeds which will become even more important for obtaining yields in the wake of climate change. Heirloom seeds have been grown, saved and passed down through the generations and are often adapted to local conditions. Locally adapted seed varieties are often also much more tolerant to fluctuations in climate conditions than their hybrid counterparts which rely more heavily on herbicide and pesticide for successful production. The reduction in the variety of seed available has therefore reduced our ability to obtain a yield in fluctuating climates. Swapping seeds at Seedy Saturdays and Sundays are a great way to encourage seed diversity, conversations around seed cultivation and also are just a fun way to meet people.

Seed swapping embodies multiple permaculture principles. Edge is increased as people who haven’t met before have the opportunity to integrate with one another while the energy of cultivation is captured and stored in the seeds that are traded. This renewable energy in the seeds is valued by the people trading seeds which they then cultivate to obtain a yield, increasing the diversity of seed as they have the opportunity cross-pollinate in a different environment.

There are so many issues that could we could talk and write about in relation to seeds and exchanging seed, but for now here are the seed swaps happening this year. If there isn’t one happening in your area, maybe you could get a group together to initiate one for 2020?


12 UK Seed Swap Events for 2019


Aden - Seedy Sunday

Date: 17 March 2019
Time: 11am-15:30pm
Place: Aden Country Park, near Aberdeen
Cost: Not specified


Brighton & Hove - Seedy Sunday

Date: 3 February 2019
Time: 10:30am - 4 pm
Place: BHASVIC Brighton & Hove Sixth Form College
Cost: Entrance: £3, Kids Free


Bovey Tracey, Devon - Seedy Saturday

Date: 9 February 2019
Time: 10am-1pm
Place: Methodist Church Hall
Cost: Free


Cambridge - Seedy Sunday

Date: 27 January 2019
Time: 1:30-4pm
Place: Trumpington Village Hall
Cost: Entrance: £2, Children free


Glastonbury, Somerset - Seedy Sunday

Date: 17 February 2019
Time: 11am- 4pm
Place: Avalon Club, Glastonbury High Street
Cost: Free


Hitchin, Hertfordshire - Seedy Sunday

Date: 24 February 2019
Time: 12-1pm
Place: Ransoms Pavillion
Cost: Free


Isle of Wight - Seedy Sunday

Date: 10 February 2019
Time: 10:30am-4pm
Place: ASPIRE, Dover Street, Ryde
Cost: Not specified


Jersey - Seedy Sunday

Date: 17 Feb 2019
Time: 10:30am-2:30pm
Place: Le Rocquier School
Cost: Free


Lewes, East Sussex - Seedy Saturday

Date: 2 February 2019
Time: 10am - 3pm
Place: Lewes Town Hall
Cost: Entrance: £1, Children free


Northampton - Seedy Saturday

Date: 16 February 2019
Time: 10:30am - 4pm
Place: St. Matthews Church Rooms, 27a The Drive
Cost: £1, Children free


Penrith, Cumbria - Seedy Saturday

Date: 9 March 2019
Time: 10am-12pm
Place: Salvation Army Hall, Hunter Lane
Cost: Not specified


Timsbury, near Bath - Seedy Saturday

Date: 9 March 2019
Place: Timsbury Conygre Hall
Cost: £1, under 16’s free

Tags: permaculture blog , permaculture principles, seed, events, seedy sunday, seedy saturday