Group Meeting Minutes 22/08/2019

Agenda

  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes from previous meeting
  3. Matters arising
  4. Seed bank collection
  5. Tree nursery plans
  6. ALBA Trees: report on trip
  7. Website
  8. NWMCW subcommittee
  9. Planned visits to woodlands on Mull and the mainland
  10. Photo competition
  11. Date of next meeting

Welcome

Present: Ann Evans (chair), Catherine Evans (minutes), Mike Shilson, Peter Leach, Andy Mortley, Bill Patterson, Moray Finch, Andy Robinson

  1. Apologies: Suzanne Patterson, Caroline Wood, Tricia Evans, Jean Laura, Matthew Burgess, Kirsty Shilson
  2. Minutes from last meeting: These were approved
  3. Matters arising: Catherine has contacted all members on the email list and most have replied but she is still waiting to hear from seven.

ACTION: Catherine will contact individually those who have not yet replied.

  1. Seed bank collection for Kew: Apparently 10,000 seeds are required from each species and we will send them to Kew following their instructions. MICT is liaising with The Woodland Trust to run a seed collection course. Andy R shared information about seed collection and we discussed the advantages of root trainers as suggested by Carol Adams by email. Possible seed collection locations were discussed e.g. Scarisdale oak woods, Glengorm, Ardura, Laggan Ulva, and we would need the agreement of the various land owners.

Moray informed the group of the Open Day at Ardura on Sunday 22nd September to celebrate MICT taking ownership of the woods at Ardura. There will be a work party in advance of this on the 14th and 15th September to clear a parking area and do brash clearing to allow for the siting of gazebos. It was agreed at our meeting that the Open Day may be a good opportunity to encourage others to participate in seed collection at Ardura. ACTION: A few members from our group will meet at Ardura on Wednesday 28th August to look at the woodland area.

ACTION: Ann to liaise with Kew to gain more information about the process of seed gathering.

  1. Tree nursery plans: Some members of our group are going on a study visit to Eigg where a tree nursery was set up last year, followed by a half-day visit to Dundreggan which has been rewilded by Trees for Life since 2008 and has a tree nursery on site. Following these visits we will have more information to plan a way forward with our own tree nursery. We will be looking at a need for native trees for Langamull, West Ardhu, Ardura and Tiroran. We may have two or three small nurseries as well as promoting the idea of individual people (including Dervaig primary school) growing trees from seed. It was noted that cell grown trees give a much longer planting season but also fishboxes mounted on a couple of pallets help to combat the problem of voles. Andy R plants 50 hazel nuts per box using this method.
  2. Report on Chris Baker’s trip to Alba Trees. Chris has given Ann a written report but we have postponed this item until Chris is able to be present.
  3. Update on website. Following a meeting with Craig, Ann was able to report a number of issues. The Members Area is very secure but it may cost a bit more to make the whole website secure. Our host site is quite expensive and we have limited web space. We will review the hosting of the website in 2020. Craig monitors all emails and screens them for scams. Sometime in late September, Craig will show a group of us how to post items on the website.

Two new suggestions were made at our meeting: Consideration should be given to notifying all members when something new is posted on the website. Some of our members inform us by email of links with other websites and it would be good to have these put on our website so that they reach a wider audience.

  1. NWMCW sub committee: As chair of the new NWMCWC sub committee with responsibility for woodland, Tricia had sent a short report as she was unable to attend this meeting. Tricia informed us that Andy Mortley, Matthew Reade and David Clowes had been coopted onto the sub committee. They have started to look in detail at the re-planting plan for North Langamull. They have also thought about possible walks and hope to get some drone shots of the area. In addition, they will be considering the re-planting of South Langamull and West Ardhu.
  2. Planned visits to woodlands on Mull and the mainland: See items 4. and 5. In addition, Mike is trying to agree a date with Helen MacKay to visit her woods at Laggan Ulva. This is likely to be a Saturday or Sunday when Helen can be there.
  3. Photo competition: The details of this have been submitted to Round and About for publication in the September issue. It will also need to be posted on our website. The closing date will be 20th

ACTION: Ann or Andy M. To liaise with Craig about posting the photo competition on our website.

AOCB

  • We acknowledged the importance of ensuring that people become increasingly aware of the harmful effects of pesticides. We need to continue our work as a pressure group with the Scottish Government. In 2020, 200 world leaders will attend the Climate Change Summit in Glasgow so we need to keep asking the question “What is Scotland doing for the environment and diversity?”

A first step could be to invite the wildlife tour operators of Mull to An Roth sometime in late October, tell them about the work of our group and encourage them to inform their clients of this, pointing out the fragility of our environment and wildlife. Later, we could inform Roseanna Cunningham (Scottish Government Secretary for Environment, climate change and Land Reform) of what we have done to date.

ACTION: Moray to compile a list of wildlife tour operators on Mull. Once this is done we will send personal invitations to the event.

  • We acknowledged the problem of deforestation in Scotland and noted that the Scottish Government is taking steps to try to reverse. However, we need to research what these steps are and whether they do include blanket areas of coniferous forest which are now known to contribute to global warming through the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

ACTION: All of the group to put together some bullet points of items we would like to be included in a letter about re-afforestation to the Scottish Government. Moray will then draft a letter based on our bullet points.

  • Andy R recommended two interesting and relevant books:
    • Atlantic Hazel – Scotland’s Special Woodlands (Can be bought online)
    • Handbook of Scotland’s Trees (The essential guide for enthusiasts, gardeners and woodland lovers to species, cultivation, habits, uses and lore)
  • Unable to be at the meeting, Caroline had sent an email asking whether our group could obtain, or compile, a map of Mull and Iona to show native woodland across the islands and areas where it is being created or increased by groups or individuals.

ACTION: All to think of ways in which such a map could be obtained and discuss at the next meeting.

  • Catherine asked if a couple of other group members would be willing to share the hosting of our meetings as Nick is resigning from the committee and won’t be attending future meetings. Mike volunteered to host the next meeting.

 Date of next meeting: Thursday 19th September  7.30pm at Mike and Kirsty’s. Please note the different venue.