Group Meeting Minutes 19/09/2019

Agenda

  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes from previous meeting
  3. Matters arising
  4. Ardura celebration plans
  5. Kew Seed bank collection
  6. Tree nursery plans
  7. Report on visit to Dundreggan Trees For Life Nursery
  8. NWMCW subcommittee
  9. AOCB
  10. Date of next meeting

Welcome

Present: Ann Evans (chair), Catherine Evans (minutes), Mike Shilson, Andy Mortley, Moray Finch, Andy Robinson, Chris Baker, Tricia Evans, Richard Clutterbuck, Tom Hard.

  1. Apologies: Suzanne Patterson, Bill Patterson, Caroline Wood, Jean Laura, Pippa Gatty, Kirsty Shilson
  2. Minutes from meeting on 22 August 2019: These were approved
  3. Matters arising:
    1. The room has been booked at An Roth for the informal drop-in session with tea/coffee and cakes with wildlife tour operators on 23rd
      1. ACTION 1: Ann and Catherine will devise an invitation to send to operators on the list provided by Moray.
      2. ACTION 2: Mike to draw up a map of ancient woodland areas on Mull
    2. Moray has received few responses for the second item under AOCB regarding the letter to the Scottish Government.
      1. ACTION for all members: think of a few bullet points about re-afforestation to send to Moray who will devise a letter. (Refer to minutes of 22nd August for more information)
  4. Ardura celebration plans: We were given information about the event which is on Sunday 22nd September at Ardura. Mull Native Woodlands Group will have a table with information about the Kew Seed Bank Project. Names and contact phone number/email address of anyone interested in taking part will be taken and there will be a demonstration of how to plant seeds. Our photo competition will be also be advertised. (N.B. there have been no entries for our photo competition yet but there is still time to take part; see our website for more information. Closing date is 20th)
  5. Kew Seed Bank Collection: Hazel should be collected now and we discussed areas which could be good for collecting. Honeysuckle seeds can also be collected now, although these can be viable even when they have dried up. Holly and alder should be collected in November and December. We need to have at least 200 seeds of each type and up to 20,000 before sending them off to Kew. Ann has all the instructions and materials for packing the seeds before sending them off.

When collecting seeds for Kew there are guidelines which need to be followed: firstly, ask the landowner’s permission to collect (there is a form they will be asked to complete), check that there are seeds inside the kernel before you start gathering, record the GPS location, seeds should be collected directly from the tree (not picked up from the ground) unless you have spread a cloth under the tree and shake the tree to release the seeds. As well as collecting the seeds, we need to gather from each area a twig bearing leaves which we press (with at least one leaf showing its reverse side) and send off with the seeds.

It was agreed that a group will meet on Wednesday 25th September to make a first attempt at collection. Details will be posted on Messenger.

ACTION: Tricia to contact Laura to ask for permission for us to collect at Quinish.

  1. Tree nursery plans: A number of people have offered space for us to develop a tree nursery and these offers are very much appreciated. However, we were agreed that a Mull Native Woodlands Group Nursery should be sited on community owned land to give us security of tenure. However, we would encourage other community-based projects as well as individuals to grown trees, perhaps using fish boxes or raised beds, depending on how much space they have.

In order for MNWG to develop a nursery the following would be needed:

    • Access to water (Birch seed beds need to be watered every day.)
    • Acessibility for people
    • Deer fencing
    • Ideally, a polytunnel

There is a possibility that we could get a grant to buy equipment and possibly even to employ someone part-time to look after the nursery.

Andy R. shared information about aspects of seed collection and tree planting:

Rowan and Hawthorn seeds should be collected now for planting in 2021 as they take 18 months to germinate.

Dervaig Primary School pupils will be planting saplings for a tree nursery as an activity on the afternoon of 20th September, the day of the Climate Change Strike.

ACTION: Mike to approach Stuart Finlay of Forestry and Land Scotland regarding a possible area of land near the Dervaig Community Orchard.

  1. Report on the visit to Dundreggan Trees For Life Nursery: Those who visited were impressed by the set-up. There are polytunnels for germination and propagation and raised beds at least 3 feet apart. Grit is mixed with soil in the raised beds to aid germination. Pictures of this visit have been posted on the MNWG website.
  2. NWMCW sub committee: The planting plan for Langamull North has now been digitised. The five-year plan produced by Tillhill is due for review. The archaeologists who led the dig at Kildavie are considering doing a full archaeological review of the area in the spring of 2020.

AOCB

  • Janine of Hideaway Lodges, Drumlag Woods, Gruline would like to be involved in seed collection and has offered us access to her woods.
  • There was discussion about the bridge being constructed over the River Bellart and the possible effects on the fresh water mussels. Apparently action has been taken to protect the mussels. We were interested to hear tha although the Mingary Burn has official protection, the River Bellart does not.

ACTION: Volunteers are needed to contact SNH to request protected status to the River Bellart.

  • Andy Robinson is planning a tree planting weekend on his woodland croft at Langamull in mid November when he hopes to plant more than 3000 trees.
  • The Woodland Trust are now selling trees at 50% discount but there is a condition that the land where they will be planted is deer fenced.
  • Forestry and Land Scotland is now giving grants to create new woodland.
  • Reforesting Scotland are basing their Annual Gathering in Aberfoyle this year from the 4th to the 6th This will be a weekend of talks, visits and workshops.
  • The 2020 Climate Change summit will be held at the SEC Glasgow and we need to give considerable thought to this.

ACTION: This to be discussed at our next meeting

Date of next meeting: Thursday 17th October  7.30pm at Mike and Kirsty’s