Running with ‘seed bombs’: the future of green space?

Urban green space always needs protection. How can you spread seeds in your daily life?

People are making seed bombs

“Does the clay feel good? They are as soft and delicate as a chocolate powder. That’s right, mix it well and make a truffle-sized ball,” said Hannah Garcia, explaining how to make a seed bomb.

A seed bomb is a ball of compost, humus and seeds of different plants. To make it, the first step is to mix clay with some water then put three or four seeds inside and form into a small ball. The bomb seed will dry and germinate under natural conditions.

Members of GoodGym Cardiff & The Val, an organization of calling for improving the environment through running, used seed bombs to celebrate Earth Hour last Saturday. They ran from the Chapter Arts Centre to Cardiff Castle with seed bombs they had made. Along the way, they dropped seed bombs where there are not enough plants or where it was difficult for people to reach.

“I’d really love to see more protection for green spaces and more easy ways,” said Garcia, the director of Outdoor Learning Consultant from Green City Event. “Running is an easy way of spreading seeds. Seed bombs can take plants where you want them to grow and minimize the risk of seed damage.”

Seed bombs are protected by the mixture of the compost and clay that makes up the ball.

Hand made seed bombs.

In this way, one benefit is preventing mice, rats or birds from eating the seeds. Another benefit is the ball provides certain nutrition and when the environment meets their growing conditions of water, rainfall, correct temperature and a good position to grow in, they will soon germinate.

Compared with common seeds, seed bombs are a more effective tool to help improve vegetation destruction in Cardiff.

Cardiff is the fastest-growing city in the UK and its population projected to increase by 80,000 people by 2026. Cardiff’s green space has been sacrificed for developing more traffic schemes to meet the public’s needs.

“A lot of what we do with GoodGym is gardening for helping nature. We are doing now is to make seed bombs and spread them through running,” said Mike Owens, a member of GoodGym Cardiff.

For GoodGym, running is not just for keeping fit.

“I think running is a perfect way of channeling human energy to try and help environmental causes, especially climate warming is such an important issue, such as the sea levels rising, the glaciers melting and temperatures rising,” said Benjamin Annear, a trainer at GoodGym Cardiff.

Cardiff Council has declared a climate emergency and set out new plans to reduce the air pollution index last week, including replacing traditional buses with electric buses and building its first separate cycleway.

However, Garcia thinks that these new plans are not enough.

“There are a lot of cars, not much green space. I’d really love to see more people to be not in a car to try and increase the green and bring down the levels of air pollution. It’s we could do a lot better,” said Garcia.

According to a consultation document of the Welsh Government, emissions will be reduced by at least 80% in 2050. To achieve this goal, this will require individual changes to how people all live and work.

“To be honest, people often just don’t know how to do to protect the environment, and they don’t know what’s the best thing to do. They think it’s very expensive and very time consuming to do things to help the environment,” said Garcia.

people planting seeds
People are contributing to the environment while running.

However, it is not as difficult as people think. They can protect the environment by making small changes to their daily routine, such as using running instead of transportation, turning off the lights when leaving the room and grabbing a couple of seed bombs for a daily run.

“Leaving to a wild corner in your garden and even just a few flowers is a huge help for the environment. Because little things add up to a big difference, ” said Garcia.