Meeting Minutes 17.10.2019

Mull Native Woodlands Group

Minutes of meeting held on 17th October 2019


  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of previous meeting
  3. Matters arising
  4. Drop in morning 23rd October
  5. Seed bank collection grant and plans
  6. Tree nursery update and plan for visit to potential site
  7. Tree nursery seed collection (Jenny Smith Lochdon, Ardura woods, Helen Mackay’s )
  8. Photo competition
  9. Website training
  10. Tree planting with Andy Robinson
  11. The 2020 Climate Change summit in Glasgow
  12. AOCB
  13. Date and venue for next meeting


  1. Apologies

Catherine Evans, Caroline Wood, Tricia Evans, Andy Mortley, Jean Laura, Pippa Gatty, Bill and Suzanne Patterson.


Ann Evans, Moray Finch, Carol Finch, Andy Robinson, Kirsty Shilson, Mike Shilson, Richard Clutterbuck, David Clowes, John Austin, Jo Austin and Mathew Burgess via an audio link.

  1. Minutes from previous meeting 19th September

Minutes approved

  1. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

  1. Drop in morning 23rd October 11.00 – 1.00

Twenty invitations have been sent out to tour operators on Mull for a drop in session to be held at An Roth, Craignure. The aim is to update operators regarding environmental points of interest, particularly information about trees and woodlands on Mull, to give another perspective to pass on to visitors. Currently AE has received four replies, two are positive and two say they can’t make it. A follow up email or phone call is to be made.

MICT will provide tea and coffee at £1.50 a head and cake will be provided by AE, KS and JA. AE, MS, MF, JA and JA will attend to help with teas and information at various stages of the meeting. MS will take a map of Mull with points of interest marked showing the community woodland at Ardura, the millennium woodland at Duart Castle, Calgary, Camus, Torosay Hill etc, also extreme or unlikely places where woodlands could be grown. MF will send MS a list of all SSI areas on Mull. MS has asked for points of interest to be emailed to him.

  1. Kew seed bank collection, grant and plans

The first batch of seeds has been sent to Kew who have asked about costs incurred and is it likely the same could be done again next year. A list of expenditure to be drafted including mileage (@40p a mile), volunteer hours (suggested £16.00 an hour), postage to date is £14.00, garden tools and equipment. A pruning rod would be helpful.

Alder seed can be collected in November. The seed must be collected from an established woodland, possibly Treshnish, Killiechronan, Loch Tor, near the Bellart. Holly berries are ready when easy to crush. Seeds should be sent off to Kew as soon as they are collected. It was suggested posting a request on social media for established woodlands containing holly and rowan trees. AE will need names of landowners where seed is to be collected in order to send out a consent form. MS suggested a mist propagator would be useful; Mike Swift has one. MS will contact Mike Swift to ask if this can be used, he will also research the costs involved in buying one for the group, also to identify access to funding to help with this.

  1. Tree nursery update and plan for visit to potential site

Helen Mackay, Jenny Smith and Janine Allen have offered potential sites for gathering seeds. AE to contact Jenny about visiting her after the drop in session on Wednesday. MB asked if collected seed needs to be stored in a fridge, AR suggested if the seeds are sprouting to store them in a rodent free area of leaf mould over the winter, ie a fish box. AR told us hawthorn and rowan berries will ripen at various stages, and can be collected at different times especially when there is an abundance of seeds.

MS has contacted Stuart Findlay, (Forestry and Land Scotland), about a suitable plot of land for a tree nursery, Stuart was helpful and has agreed a site near the community orchard Dervaig, about 60m x 40m, this can be arranged under a ten year agreement between MNWG and F&LS. MS suggested it could be an advantage for the native woodland tree nursery to come under the umbrella of MICT. MF emphasised this must work as a collaboration between the two groups with Liz Peel director of MICT and Caroline Wood a director of MICT and a member of MNWG to liaise between the groups. MS explained that tree stumps need to be removed and the land levelled, with a contractor brought in to carry out this work. This will make way for a polytunnel etc. MS is meeting Liz Peel on Sunday at 2.30 to look over the site, other members are welcome to join Mike and Liz. Stuart Findlay was encouraging and suggested various funds available from Forestry and Land Scotland, MS added if we can work as a community with MICT there may be access to other funds.

  1. Tree nursery seed collection (Jenny Smith Lochdon, Ardura woods, Helen Mackay’s )

Seeds will need to be collected for local tree nurseries. Only 20% of the seed should be   collected from the same tree. AR is growing Holly from cuttings and there is an old holly bush at Ardura to consider taking cuttings from.

  1. Photo competition

The deadline is October 20th with a few entries to date. AE has contacted the photography teacher at Tobermory High who hopes to submit a few entries from the pupils.

  1. Website training

Craig Whittaker is happy to give a training session in November to help members of the group post links onto the site, minutes etc.

  1. Tree planting with Andy Robinson

AR pointed out that it’s National Tree Planting Week at the end of November. By then he hopes to have 3200 plants and has requested help from the group to plant these.

  1. The 2020 Climate Change summit in Glasgow

To discuss next time

  1. AOB

MB thought it would be helpful to have links on the website to show multi-dimensional awareness about planting trees, to show how good a tree is to the earth.

AR informed the group that Reforesting Scotland are concerned about deer numbers. Over the years, much land has been fenced off, leaving large numbers roaming, which in turn, is not allowing natural regeneration. A recent count shows over 7000 on the island.

  1. Date of next meeting 14th November at Mike and Kirsty Shilson’s, 7.30pm

Action Points

  • Follow up the invite to tour operators AE
  • A list of expenditure for the Kew project AE
  • Mist propagator, to borrow, cost and research funding to buy one MS
  • Contact Jenny Smith AE
  • To send MS a list of SSI. MF