Amongst the largest threats to biodiversity – including pollinators – are 1) historic habitat loss (leaving very small, fragmented/isolated semi-natural habitat patches of unimproved grassland and woodland remaining) and 2) current intensive farming practices which threaten remaining wildlife through spraying of fertilisers and pesticides which can drift into remnant habitat patches, and intensive cropping schemes which do not leave overwinter stubble for arable bird species. Extant populations of wildlife are therefore highly vulnerable to further landscape and climate change due to their isolation and small population sizes.
Creating Wildlife Friendly™ agricultural lands that include habitat for native pollinators is crucial for the survival of wildlife, humans and our food system. In the UK alone, for example, over 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930’s.
The Conservation Enterprise
Seilich – a family run Scottish beauty brand built around sustainability and based in East Lothian, Scotland – produces beautiful products based on native Scottish plant species grown in their own meadow. The main ethos behind Seilich is to create a “wildlife friendly “company that is able to give back rather than take from nature.
Using the Scottish Pollinator Strategy to guide its efforts, Botanist and Seilich’s founder Dr. Sally Gouldstone creates native wildflower meadows from which ingredients for products are grown and harvested. These meadows are comprised of a native seed mix developed in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh to; 1) be of benefit to pollinators 2) ensure there are no food scarcity gaps through the year for pollinators and 3) are comprised of native seeds of local provenance. Seilich meadows include native Scottish species such as yarrow, comfrey, plantain and wild carrot. These species produce powerful ingredients for Seilich cosmetic products but also provide amazing habitat for wildlife. Careful harvesting ensures a food source for pollinators even post-harvest.
Seilich products are comprised of over 90% floral waters which are made from locally native/naturalised plant species. These species are grown and harvested within the Seilich meadow in addition to a more diverse array of wildlfowers and grasses. The meadows are created and managed to increase semi-natural habitat (particularly wildlfower meadows) available within the county. Seilich ensures that despite harvesting parts of the meadow for our products, a larger area remains for biodiversity.