At a time when Ash, Horse Chestnut and other trees are being hit by pests and diseases, it is more important than ever for new trees to be grown by communities, working together and using local seeds. On 23rd September, we launch the start of the new tree year with Seed Gathering Season 2014. What better way to get started than by collecting from the ripening seed crop that is available, for free, in many parks, hedgerows, woods and streets?
Seed Gathering Season is a time for communities to make the most of the time of year. More than 90% of the population lives in towns and cities (2010 Defra statistics http://bit.ly/1qgYMMG ) where the trees are neighbours as much as the people are. What can neighbours do? Get together and take part in activities to collect, sow and grow trees together as insurance for the future of their green landscape. They can also look around and find seeds and nuts to eat or prepare in new ways.
‘From classes on what and where to pick, to foraging walks and ideas for how to transform what is collected into jams, jellies and other treats, we aim to inspire people to enthuse their friends, neighbours and local community. ’ said Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council. ‘Together, neighbours can grow a sense of mutual support, grow the recognition that working together makes more sense than working alone and grow a more favourable environment for both people and trees.’
If you want to be sure that you are picking and collecting the right things in the right places, there are planned events, run by The Tree Council’s member organisations, its volunteer Tree Wardens and other supporters, currently taking place throughout the country. Further information, and a free poster to download, can be found on the Tree Council’s website, http://www.treecouncil.org.uk.