About Us

The London Freedom Seed Bank is a London-wide network of seed savers, community gardeners and food justice activists. We welcome new members to the steering group, and hold an AGM once a year.

The core organisational team is:

Charlotte Dove (Co-director) has been involved with the urban food growing movement in London since 2008. As a community gardener and garden educator, she’s worked growing food-to-sell and teaching horticulture to schoolchildren and volunteers. Currently, she’s based at Sydenham Garden in South London, where she runs therapeutic gardening sessions for people recovering from poor mental health. She was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship in 2015 to undertake a 10-week research trip to seed saving ventures in North America and Canada. Her motivation for undertaking this research project was to understand how community models can make a meaningful impact in protecting seed diversity and how this fledgling movement can best be supported in the UK. Learnings from the study have been integrated in the way the London Freedom Seed Bank operates today. To learn more about Charlotte’s research project and read the report in full: https://seeddiversity.wordpress.com

Julie Riehl (Co-director) has been growing food in London since 2011, as the Garden and Training Coordinator for Capital Growth – London’s food growing network, and the Garden Manager for the Global Generation’s Skip Garden. She also runs food growing and community garden management training and writes gardening tips for the Capital Growth website and The Jellied Eel magazine. Julie joined the London Freedom Seed Bank as a volunteer and seed saver in 2012 before becoming a co-Director in 2017 and pursuing seed saving in all her growing projects. Julie studied ecophysiology and animal behaviour at Strasbourg University in France, before completing a Masters in environmental management from the Eco-Conseil Institute.

Helene Schulze (Co-director) is a writer and editor in the fields of food, agriculture and social justice. She is particularly interested in agroecology, (urban) food justice and the potential of art-science collaborations for expanding the reach of the food movement. At the moment she coordinates ARC2020, a food and farming news platform and edits a book on grassroots rural development projects. She met the Freedom Seed Bank team whilst writing her Masters dissertation on seed saving practices at the University of Oxford n 2017. She has been a director since April 2018 and grows in a small London garden as well as every free windowsill, workbench and shelf indoors. She tweets @HeleneSCSchulze

Richard Galpin is an artist, working primarily on community projects that are a blend of art, horticulture, local history and community action. He founded the Alberta Fruit Commons in South London which uses the growing and sharing of fruit as way of building community resilience. Richard is co-founder and project manager for the Kennington Chartist Project, which celebrates Kennington Park’s place in the history of protest and democracy. He is Chair of trustees for Walworth Garden, a South London Charity whose mission is to change lives through horticultural training and therapy. From his small backyard in South London Richard is slowly breeding ‘The Bloody Marvel’, a new variety of red speckled lettuce, bred for its resilience to London’s challenging growing conditions. twitter: @rgalpinstudio