10,000 trees and counting

Seed propagation workshop, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Seed propagation workshop, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Over the last year we’ve been able to plant over 10,000 trees and have collected literally thousands of seeds from our most special of veteran trees.

Creating a lasting legacy

In autumn 2012, volunteers attended workshops at Hardwick Park and Allestree Park to learn the best techniques for propagating different species. They then set to work collecting seed from veteran trees across the county and we now have seedlings growing in dedicated nurseries as well as in people’s back gardens. Some schools have also got involved including Rowsley Primary School, Belper School and the Holbrook Centre for Autism.

We now have seeds growing from several of our parkland sites including Hardwick, Haddon and Chatsworth, as well as some collected from the wider countryside. We also have seed from some of the trees featured in our website’s archive of stories including the Darley Yew, the oldest tree in the county.

We intend to plant some of the new seedlings near to the parent veteran, but there will be some left over. For these heritage trees, we’ll be selecting special sites in school grounds, village greens or other community sites.

This autumn we have once again held veteran tree seed propagation workshops at Markeaton Park, Longshaw Estate, Chatsworth and Derby University's Buxton Campus. It has been a great year for seed production, especially acorns, which is fantastic news after the disaster of last year when the veteran oaks hardly produced any seed - those that we did collect had poor germination rates.

On 23rd November we are holding a Big Tree Plant event at Allestree Park, Derby where we will plant out the first of our young trees grown from veteran stock. Seed was collected from the park two years ago by the Friends of Allestree Park and they will be helping us to plant them out near their parent veterans on the day.

We are also holding Big Tree Plant events at Mackworth Park, Derby and Lea Brook Valley Woods, Dronfield, on 30th November. Please come and join us!

Promoting planting

As well as planting out trees from veteran stock, Value in Trees has also funded further tree planting projects with 31 different community groups across the county to help them achieve real benefits for wildlife. We provided training workshops in tree planting and organised tree planting events across the county. Projects have varied in size and type - from planting just five native trees on a playing field with Risley Parish Council to planting 4000 trees in Derby in partnership with Derby City Council, various Friends of Groups and schools. Other projects have included planting a small community fruit orchard at the St Barnabas Centre in Danesmoor, restoring an old hedge line at Carsington Water and planting disease-resistant elms to benefit white letter hairstreak butterflies at the old brickworks at Aston on Trent.

Get involved

Keep an eye out for upcoming Value in Trees events or why not take part in our short story competition for a chance to win your own heritage tree.

Photo: White-letter hairstreak, Kieron Huston