Bute Forest volunteers go seed-gathering

Volunteers were out and about on Sunday to collect tree seeds for use in regenerating Bute Community Forest.
Volunteers were out and about on Sunday to collect tree seeds for use in regenerating Bute Community Forest.

Bute Forest volunteers hunted high and low to gather an impressive load of seeds for the Bute Forest collection on Sunday.

Volunteers hunted primarily on the south side of the Balnakailly Burn in the warm autumn sunshine. They found a good number of acorns on the ground around the oak trees as well as rowan berries, lime tree seeds and alder seeds.

There were clear signs that some of the seeds had started to germinate already and plenty of signs that wildlife had been munching on seeds too. Small oak, rowan and alder saplings were found although none were more than a few years old. During the hunt a variety of fungi were discovered, an encouraging sign that the forest has a healthy amount of deadwood.

Volunteers chose either to take their seeds home to be germinated and looked after or to leave them with the Forest team, Emma and Ben, for ongoing care. Seeds will be planted in a deer proof enclosure for a number of years until they can be planted out in other areas of the forest.

Seeds are being handed into the forest office, located on the seafront next to Lloyds Pharmacy, from all over the island. They will be labelled with their source location and a record kept of the success rate of seeds collected from each location.

Bute Forest has so far had oak, rowan, chestnut, sycamore and birch seeds handed in.