Seed collectors call to boost park woodland

The North York Moors National Park Authority is hoping to build a collection of native seeds from veteran trees.
The North York Moors National Park Authority is hoping to build a collection of native seeds from veteran trees.

The North York Moors National Park Authority is looking to recruit volunteer seed gatherers to help build a collection of native seeds from ancient woodlands and veteran trees.

The project will see up to 40,000 seeds collected from species including oak, hazel, holly, juniper and rowan.

Following collection, the seeds, nuts and berries will be grown on by local nurseries and then used in future woodland creation projects in the National Park.

The planting of new woodland habitats is a key element of the National Park Authority’s conservation efforts.

However, sourcing seeds of local provenance – those that are genetically similar to the native trees of the local area – is extremely challenging.

Alasdair Fagan, woodland creation officer at the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “Planting seedlings of local provenance has long been encouraged.

“In particular, we are interested in collecting as many seeds as possible from ancient and veteran trees, sometimes aged up to 400 years old, as the genetic makeup of these trees has clearly allowed them to withstand the test of time.

“If you would like to learn more about how you can become involved email volunteers@northyorkmoors.org.uk, or phone Mark Antcliff on 01438 772700.”