Some of the more observant among you may have realised that last week’s post was not written by the Falls of Clyde Ranger, Laura, but rather by me, a volunteer at the reserve.
My role within the reserve is to organise the nursery and to start growing seeds from local trees. I have collected seeds from around the reserve and have prepared seeds of eight different species, including dog rose, elder and hawthorn, all of which bore fruits (rather than nuts or winged seeds). These seeds need to rest for at least one winter, before they germinate in spring. To do this, however, they needed to be separated from the fleshy fruit around the inner seed. This job was messy, fiddly, but also very pleasant. I’ve done a lot of tree planting in my time, but not so much seed preparation, and imagining what’s going to grow out of these tiny seeds has passed the hours very pleasantly.
Not all will germinate, of course, but those that do should make up for those that do not. Imagine a seedling rowan, and then think of the beautiful tree that can grow from humble beginnings. And yew, one of the seeds I am working with, is one of the longest living trees known to mankind. These seeds might end up living for 1000 years, or more! I find that hard to imagine but easy to admire.
The nursery is a lovely place to work. There are people going by regularly, many of whom stop for a chat (if you’re passing please do too!), the planting is a very enjoyable activity and there are robins flitting in and out of the trees, occasionally bursting into a song that lifts a chilly day into something spectacular. Yes, it’s a lovely place to work!
Heather Beaton – Scottish Wildlife Trust Volunteer