Inspired by other areas of the UK & Ireland, Northern England seed saving networks, no strangers to the cooperative movement, are gathering pace, and we are full of beans…


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Upcoming Events

Beanfeast 2022: Northern Seed Network celebration

Date and time: 17 September 2022, 10:00 – 15:30 BST

Join the Northern Seed Network for a celebration of all things BEAN! An opportunity for the members of the Seed Sovereignty programme’s Northern Seed Network to come together from some seedy fun.

For more information please see our Eventbrite page.



Starting in 2020 we were delighted to be supported by mega-stars of the seed saving scene; Sue Stickland, Hans Steenbergen and Peter Brinch as well as Dennis Touliatos and Anna Clayton of Lancaster Seed Library who were kind enough to help us build courses suitable for our networks, with a distinct northern flavour.

We visited the Seed Coop, as well as Hans’ seed saving space in North Yorkshire near the former Stormy Hall Seeds and Meanwood Valley Urban Farm and started this year’s course at Lancaster Seed Library.  To encourage people to join our yearlong seed saving course we start the year with a shorter intro course and have now had cohorts through the yearlong training.


Over the last couple of years we have found much enthusiasm, camaraderie and commitment amongst our networks and the numbers and enthusiasm are growing. We have also gathered around the theme of beans; with a special film and regional event to celebrate the wonders of beans of all sorts for health, soils and beauty!

There is also enthusiasm for a northern seed hub, inspired by the Wales Seed Hub, the Scottish Seed Hub and northern Cooperative movements, so watch this space.

Also in Northern England

The Seed Coop: In Lincolnshire, the Seed Coop is arguably not the northern most, however, it is one of the largest seed companies in the country. It hosts significant infrastructure for all seed growers across these lands with a huge site, much under glass growing, a wide range of seed processing machinery and set up with knowledge from experts in the field, who’ve been saving for over 30 years. As a community benefit society you can join as a member, it is also a community-supported initiative. We have been lucky enough to visit as part of our yearlong training.

Esk Valley Seeds: Whilst the company is not selling seeds directly, they continue infrastructure for growing and saving seed and maintaining varieties in North Yorkshire, near to the former Stormy Hall Seeds. Seed is then produced for the Seed Coop which they were instrumental in helping set up.

Lancaster Seed Library: A well-established Seed Library run out of Lancaster Central Library set up nearly 10 years ago, with satellite libraries, called sew and sow libraries, established during the 2020 lockdowns and which offer locally-saved open-pollinated seed along with sowing kits to locals.