UPFRONT / LEARN
SAYS… More nature-preserving projects to enjoy with your family
Walk with a purpose, and find seeds to grow together GERMI-NATION
EVERY OCTOBER, THE tree Council organise Seed Gathering Season, a campaign to inspire everyone to collect seeds, fruits and nuts and grow the trees of the future. In a world when new pests and diseases are on the rise, diversity of stock is important, and growing seeds from healthy UK trees is one of the best ways of ensuring there will be strong saplings to plant in any gaps. It’s thought that seeds harvested in a particular area are more likely to flourish when replanted locally – they have adapted to local conditions. The process of collecting and growing trees is a great way to introduce children to conservancy, gardening and preserving green spaces. There are organised events – find an apple festival, orchard fair, group seed gather near you on the Tree Council website – or simply make a trip out into your nearest wood to find your own seeds. Don’t forget that gathering seeds often means a chance to pick fruit! So you’ll have your pockets full of bonus, tasty, foraged sweetness. Seed Gathering Season runs from September 23– October 23. Find out more at treecouncil.org.uk
Tree Warden Dick Walters has volunteered for The Tree Council for almost 30 years, and has some great tips for successful collection. • When collecting seeds always use containers that can breathe – hessian or open mesh bags. • Flesh from berries should not be removed until you are ready to sow or stratify, as the kernels are prone to drying out.
• If you want to store seeds for a longer period you must extract the seed, clean, dry and seal in air tight polythene bags with as much air as possible removed.
• Store in a refrigerator at between 2 and 5 centigrade – they may be kept like this for several years. • When ready for use stratify and sow in spring (find out more about the process at growingnative. co.uk/trees/tree-guide)
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2019 thegreenparent.co.uk
The Great British
Birdwatch Held every January, the RSPB’s annual backyard sweep is the granddaddy of the nature survey family. Spot birds from your window, tot them up, send in the results. No pretending you’ve seen an eagle, please!
The Great British
Beach Clean The biggest shore tidyup and survey in the UK is run by the Marine Conservancy Council over a weekend in September. Help gather data to battle litter and single-use plastics.
Nature’s Calendar Give your family walks a purpose. Log your first butterfly sightings, autumn fruits or summer swallows in the Woodland Trust’s Nature’s Calendar,
and help scientists monitor the effects of climate change on wildlife.