23rd September - 23rd October 2016
Since 1998, The Tree Council has been organising Seed Gathering Season, the autumn campaign to inspire everyone to gather seeds, fruits and nuts and grow the trees of the future. The festival starts each year on the 23rd September (the autumn equinox, considered to be the first day of autumn) and continues until the 23rd October, giving our volunteer Tree Wardens and member organisations plenty of days on which to hold events, with lots of opportunities for everyone to hear and get inspired.
At a time when trees are also being ravaged by newly imported pests and diseases, one important factor for the survival of some species is going to be diversity of stock and the way forward is going to be trees grown from local seed, on home soil. Growing seeds from healthy UK trees is probably one of the best ways of taking out insurance that there will be strong saplings to plant where the gaps appear.
Growing trees from local seed can have great benefits in restocking areas with trees of local provenance. The concept of local provenance suggests that trees that are adapted to the local circumstances are more likely to flourish and so help restore, conserve and beautify local urban and rural spaces. Collecting seeds and growing trees is also a great way to get children involved and start growing the next generation of tree enthusiasts.
Interested in getting involved? You can find events on our Near You map.
If you're interested in organising your own event in 2016, read further to get some tips on how to grow trees from the seeds you have collected. To find out about the kind of activities which took place in your area last year, for inspiration, you can look at past events. You can also find more information in our publications Trees and How to Grow Them and The Good Seed Guide. Don't forget to list your event on our website, so that other people can come and join you!
If you want to get more people in your community involved, or publicise seed gathering in a school or youth group, you can use the 2016 free downloadable poster to advertise - print as many copies as you need.
Of course, some of the seeds you can gather at this time of year are excellent for tasty treats.
Why not try one of the recipes on our Hedgerow Harvest website.
If you are planning to collect fruit and seeds to eat, here are some tips:
- Fruit is the property of the landowner.
- Don't collect anything from trees beside busy roads or on old industrial sites.
- Don't allow unsupervised children to pick - or eat - from trees and make sure
you know exactly what you are picking: some of the most attractive berries
are poisonous and easily mistaken for edible ones.
- Wherever you gather your wild food, wash it well.
- Don't pick more than you need and do not damage the trees.
- Seed Gathering Season 2016 Press Release
- Seed Gathering Season 2016 Poster