A new eco-friendly initiative has been launched at Stevenston Library.

Part of a North Ayrshire-wide project addressing food insecurity in our six localities, the Seed Library sees Stevenston become the latest local library to do its part to fight against climate change.

Already sprouting across North Ayrshire at Arran, Dalry, Kilbirnie, Kilwinning, Largs and Saltcoats library venues, the latest Seed Library is part of the council’s sustainable food growing strategy.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Seedbank

The addition to Stevenson is special as the town was selected as one of Scotland’s first Climate Action Towns back in 2021 as part of a Scottish Government-funded project to support place-based climate action in communities.

The launch of the Seed Library at Stevenston is part of a wider project supported by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals’ Scotland (CILIPS) Green Libraries Fund.

Climate Action Town Stevenston – known as CAT Stevenston - will offer a series of climate and environmental-themed activities for schools, families and the local community in the library and surrounding area, including climate cinema screenings, climate classroom, eco-learning activities and outdoor learning sessions.

With the seed library being the first instalment, you may wonder how this works exactly. Put simply, the seed library lends seeds to gardeners and others who are interested in learning how to grow their own organic produce.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Seedbank

It works much the same as traditional library - with a twist.

Seeds are borrowed from the seed library and at the end of the growing season, seeds from the plants grown are returned in a portion to the library to replenish their supply.

The new Stevenston Seed Library is open to everyone – you don’t need to be a library member.

Filled with seeds that do well in North Ayrshire’s blustery and at times dreich climate, you don’t even need to have a garden as window boxes, flowerpots, allotments or even a compost-filled old welly boot will do the trick.

Benefits of lending from the Seed Library include:

  • Helping residents to build a community with fellow gardeners and eco enthusiasts
  • Encouraging people of all ages to learn a new sustainable skill while contributing to the areas local biodiversity
  • Preserving the positive characteristics of heirloom seeds so that the same size, colour or flavour if edible (think tomatoes, leeks, potatoes) can be passed from the parent plant to the next year’s seedlings
  • You get to keep all the produce from the things you grow and experience the satisfaction of growing them yourself
  • Helping North Ayrshire Libraries to supplement their existing seed supply and
  • Allowing you to do your part to contribute to our ambitious aim to reduce the North Ayrshire’s carbon footprint so that we can become a net zero local authority by 2030.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Seedbank

Councillor Alan Hill, cabinet member for communities and islands said: “We are proud to launch the latest Seed Library at Stevenston Library. Thank you to everyone involved in making this project come to fruition.

“The initiative so far has gone down really well in our other libraries and I have no doubt that gardeners and beginners in the Three Towns will also find Stevenston’s Seed Library a welcome addition as lenders grow their confidence.

“We look forward to welcoming anyone who is green-fingered or wants to do their part to address food insecurity and nature loss (biodiversity) in North Ayrshire.

“Our libraries also have a wealth of gardening books to help you on your way. It’s a win-win!”

Vegetables and herbs are the main focus of the new Seed Library – please speak to library staff about how to get involved or visit the website: https://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/libraries/seed-libraries.aspx for further details including how to make a seed deposit.