Mull Native Woodlands Group 2019 review

2019 has been quite a  year for our group and as we come into 2020 it’s amazing to look back on how much we have achieved.
We began with our campaigns against pesticides notably neonicitinoids and have received such positive reports from a number of Island Estates who are keen to plant native trees without the use of harmful chemicals.

Our AGM May 2nd was combined with an open event held at Dervaig Village Hall.

In the main hall was wonderful display by Mulls’ many community groups. Participants were Dervaig Community Orchard,Friends of Calgary, Mull and Iona beekeepers, NW Mull Community Woodland,Mull and Iona Food Trail,Tobermory Harbour Association,Mull Music Makers, Aros Walled Garden, Lip Na Cloiche gardens, GrowGrow Grow, Mull Safe and Sound, Mull and Iona Community Trust as well as the Forest Scotland and RSPB.

The keynote speaker was MSP Michael Russell a keen supporter of the environment and the issues raised by our group. He was given a tour by village children of the projects in Dervaig.

Following the exhibitions there was chance to sit and listen to the children from Mull Music Makers performing before our AGM and a keynote speech by Michael Russell.

Michael Russell MSP

Outlined in the AGM were plans for seed collections for the Kew Millennium Seed Bank.  A group of our volunteers visited a number of woodlands and coppices over the period from October to December we collected Hazel, Honeysuckle, Holly and Alder. We also prepared samples of leaves in  an herbarium. These have now all been sent to Kew.          Thanks must go to all the landowners who agreed to us collecting seeds the Charrington’s (Treshnish), Jim Spence (Penmore), Jo Walsh (Drumgigha) Quin’s (Quinnish),  Drumlang Woods, Ardura, and Jenni Smith.

So to 2020 and our ambitious plans to create our very own community tree nursery.

In October of 2019 a few of our group visited  the  https://treesforlife.org.uk    Dundreggan Nursery and conservation estate in Glen Moriston, as a fact finding trip. We learnt such a lot about growing trees from seed and what we might need for our own nursery. Our plan to visit the Isle of Eigg tree nursery as well was stalled because of the weather, but we hope to visit there in the spring.

The visit certainly inspired us and enthused us with going ahead on our new project.

To date we have  identified a potential site in an area belonging to  Forest Scotland, they are keen in principal to draw up an agreement on the use of this area. It is adjacent to the Dervaig Community Orchard and we are already seeking funding for the ground work, fencing and polytunnel. This will take up a lot of our work for the coming year.

We would welcome new members to join our group and get involved in growing and planting trees, a positive approach to our environment.

Chair Ann Evans