Stone Lane Gardens had the honour of being awarded ‘National Collection’ status in 1995. Then in 2015 we were awarded ‘Scientific Status’ for our Birch collection.

We have ‘National Collections’ of wild-origin Birch (Betula) and Alder (Alnus) trees.

Our collections consist of 34 taxa of Alder and 69 taxa of birch. In total within the arboretum we have about 1000 trees.

What is a National Collection?

In 1978 concern about the loss of plant variety within the horticultural world caused the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) to organise a conference with the title ‘The practical role of gardens in the conservation of rare and threatened plants.’ The outcome of this was the creation of an organisation known as the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens was born. That name has now been changed to Plant Heritage.

Plant Heritage’s aims are to:

  • Encourage the propagation and conservation of cultivated plants in the British Isles;
  • Encourage and conduct research into cultivated plants, their origins, their historical and cultural importance and their environments;
  • and encourage the education of the public in cultivated plant conservation.

The main way they achieve this is by establishing and supporting the various National Collections around the UK. There are strict criteria applied to anyone who wants to become a National Collection holder.

Plant Heritage works closely with other conservation bodies as well as botanic gardens, The National Trust, The National Trust for Scotland, English Heritage, The Royal Horticultural Society and many specialist horticultural societies.