Tree seeds collected as part of the project are safely banked in the underground vaults of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank – forming the UK’s first national collection of tree seeds. These collections play a vital role in conservation work to protect UK trees and woodlands, including against pests and diseases such as ash dieback. The collections, and associated data, are available to researchers working on solutions to tackle the many threats facing our woodlands.
“The seed collection days offered Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s faithful volunteers a change from their regular practical volunteering task days on the Delamere mosses,” said Kevin Feeney, Living Landscape Officer at Cheshire Wildlife Trust. “Alder Buckthorn is a little known tree in the area, however it grows well on the acidic peat soil and heathland found there. The day involved the volunteers first learning to identify the tree, then identifying ripe fruit followed my many hours of seed collection. The target being 10,000 seeds per species!”