Over three days in October we supported The Nature Trust as they hosted a variety of acorn gathering events in Ballygannon Wood, Wicklow and Hazelwood, Sligo. The ‘base camp’ was set-up, powered by one of our portable solar battery, as we held our initial gatherings, introductions to the invaluable work of the Nature Trust and stocked up on tea and biscuits. With rain gear on and baskets in hand, the groups were then led by Dr. Declan Little and Karen Woods on an insightful trail to collect acorns and hear about the history (and future) of our native woodlands.
The collected acorns were bagged and sent to the Coillte tree nursery at Ballintemple, Co. Carlow to be weighed, graded, dried, stored. They will be grown at the nursery until they are 2 to 4 years old, when they will be ready to be planted out to create new native woodlands on lands already purchased by The Nature Trust.
In Wicklow alone, just over 150 kilos of acorns were collected during the events – still leaving lots behind for the woodland inhabitants to forage and snack on. This collection of acorns will result in up to 15,000 oak seedlings which will be planted out across Ireland on greenfield sites that The Nature Trust has acquired for native woodland creation.
If you are interested in foraging for acorns or other native seeds and nuts, The Nature Trust have an easy-to-use downloadable Seed ID sheet with some of the most common native tree seeds that you will find in the Irish landscape.