If you’re here, you’ve obviously got a spare 30 seconds.

I suggest you spend your 30 seconds supporting this campaign, if you haven’t already: Pavlovsk Experimental Station is a  scientific collection of berries and fruit in Russia, under imminent threat from real-estate development. The Russian President could intervene to save it –  but more pressure is needed.

Pavlovsk is a unique resource – a collection of over 5,000 varieties of berries and fruit – 90% of which are not found in any other repository.

Established in 1926, it was conceived of as a legacy for future generations – a vision that should provide some hope in our world of climate change, massive biodiversity loss and industrial agriculture.

As those campaigning to protect it point out: “humanity needs crops to survive. As the climate changes and new threats to existing crop varieties appear, the ones we have now need to adapt, and the diversity found at the Pavlovsk Station provides this adaptation potential for a broad range of fruits and berries. We need to grow new breeds of all kinds of crops — grains, fruits, vegetables — to feed ourselves and our children. To do that, we need the rich diversity of characteristics like those found at Pavlovsk.”

Its plants can’t just be rehoused: it hosts thousands of rare species that can’t just be uprooted and moved and which are hard to breed from seed and so cannot just be stored in ordinary seed banks.

I’ve mentioned that berries actually unhinge me – and the thought of a place which hosts 1000 varieties of strawberries from 40 countries – or 893 varieties of blackcurrant –  just completely blows my awe-and-joy gasket. To think of that lost forever? To real-estate?

There are only a few days left to try to save the collection –  and at this stage that requires a presidential intervention. Internet campaigning-  by petitions and Twitter – has already got President Medvedev’s attention – but more pressure is needed.

During the siege of Leningrad, scientists protecting the station’s resources apparently  starved to death while surrounded by the edible collection – in that context I definitely felt I could spare 30 seconds to do my bit.

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