Jun 30 2021

Exciting new volunteer role for Scotland – Tree Seed Collectors – we’d love you to join us!


Do you like the idea of collecting tree seeds by hand and then seeing those trees grow into new woodlands?


If the answer is yes, we’d love you to apply for our new role of Tree Seed Collector.  You’ll help to survey our sites for the best collection locations, and then monitor trees for optimum seed ripeness times. 


We are also looking for 10 lead seed collection volunteers to coordinate the logistics of other volunteers in the 10 key locations that we are focussing upon.  We think it will be a really enjoyable activity – there’s not much more rewarding and tangible than to collect seeds by hand in beautiful places and then later see new woodlands planted and thriving from seeds that you collected.


You’d be starting this new role with us in August 2021 and there’s no need to be an expert – all training and equipment will be provided.


So why this new role now?


Across the UK there is sometimes a shortage of locally provenant native tree stock of certain tree species and in certain tree zones.   The Woodland Trust therefore struggles to procure trees for planting on some of our own sites and for our other tree planting projects.


One of our ways to address this is the collection of tree seeds of species and in tree zones that are experiencing shortages of supply.  We then facilitate the growing on of these seeds into trees we can buy back and plant.


We are looking for volunteers for 2 different collection activity types.  You can choose to do one or both but we feel that you will get more out of it if you choose to do both:


A Volunteer collectors for a Woodland Trust Site or other geographical location


We are looking for applications for volunteers to collect on a regular basis (mostly in the autumn) in the following geographical locations:


  1. Within a 30 mile radius of:
    – Oban (Woodland Trust Dunollie Wood)
    – Shieldaig (Woodland Trust Ben Shieldaig)
    – Crinan Wood (Woodland Trust) in Argyll
    – Loch Arkaig Pine Forest (Woodland Trust) near Spean Bridge
    – Glen Finglas (Woodland Trust Site) near Callendar
    – Nairn (for our work with Kildrummie Estate in Moray)
  2. Mull
  3. The Western Isles – Harris or Lewis
  4. the Morven peninsular
  5. Islay


As well as taking part in the collection, the lead volunteers would coordinate the logistics of the activity in these areas.


B   Volunteer acorn and hazel collectors across the west of Scotland


If you live to the west of the line on the map below or if you will be visiting there, we would love you to collect acorns and hazelnuts for us from any location in that area.



We will provide you with pre-paid postage labels and all you have to do is to make a note of the grid reference of where you collected them from and post them off to us. 


We are looking to collect in large numbers and would provide instructions as to how to collect sustainably.


If you would like to sign up and join in, or if you’d like to discuss the role first, then please contact me:  matildascharsach@woodlandtrust.org.uk…  or give me a bell on 07825 010744.


We’ve already been trialling this role at our Loch Arkaig and Glen Finglas sites.  Here are some Woodland Trust volunteers learning about tree ID and seed collection processes at Glen Finglas.


Craig Shearer is the contractor that we have appointed to manage the seed collection project and to train and support the volunteers. Craig’s enthusiasm is infectious and his knowledge and experience endless.                                                                                                                                                        

Enthusiastic volunteers at Glen Finglas learning from Craig (right) and accompanied by Estate Ranger, Gwen Raes (second from right).


…and here are some happy collectors with Craig at Loch Arkaig last autumn.






Looking forward to welcoming lots of you to this new role.

Matilda Scharsach

Scotland Volunteering Development Officer

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