We had the first anniversary of our Community Tree Nursery a few weeks ago, in April. The site, underneath Byn Arw, has already become a key part of our woodland creation approach: the Nursery gives us a base for our logistical operations – providing just the right, diverse mix of saplings in optimum condition, for all our plant schemes. It also provides resilience in the rapidly changing and demanding tree supply sector, enabling us to plan with confidence.
We are principally engaged in two things: growing saplings from seed (sessile oak, field maple, sweet chestnut, sycamore, Scots pine, hawthorn, silver birch, rowan and others), and growing on or ‘hardening’ two-year old saplings donated to us (mainly by Coed Cadw/Woodland Trust for Wales – thank you!) including sessile oak, alder, hawthorn, hazel, rowan, dog rose, dogwood, crab apple, several species of willow and downy birch.
We now have 100,000 plus saplings and seedlings on site. However, there is loads of other good stuff going on at the same time: with the help of our good friend, Mick Petts, we have built a composting toilet from recycled materials (date for the installation ceremony tbc); we have planted a hedge and a copse, and we’re in the process of planting a medicine garden and installing a new irrigation system. Yup, it’s been a busy year. It’s also been a pretty steep learning curve. We have relied heavily on the many volunteers, friends, neighbours and other community nurseries across Britain who have offered expert advice or sharpened a trowel. We are all immeasurably grateful. Thank you.
Perhaps most importantly, the Nursery also now provides a base for our wonderful volunteers and our local community. It’s a great meeting place and there are jobs for all – full body workout with a spade, a bit of weeding and watering or some green-fingered seedling separation. Of course, it’s also a great place for a bit of cake and a cup of tea. As the days lengthen, we’ll be hosting more of our leisurely barbecues around a long table in the polytunnel. Cider time!
We’ll be organising weekly volunteering events at the Nursery between now and autumn. Please have a look at our events calendar (if you’re already on Discord, the app we use to coordinate volunteers) to see if there’s something that interests you. If you’re not on Discord but would like to be, please email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you set up.