Jun 09 2022

Trees, trees and more trees under a blazing sunny Glen Finglas sky!

On Saturday 4th June, the sun shone, and the willows, birches and more were identified.  This was our first on site Scotland volunteer gathering of 2022 and 28 volunteers came along to join in.


Jennie Martin, our visiting ethnobotanist, taught us some great botany and ID skills as well as fascinating facts about human interaction with trees.   Many thanks to Maggie McCallum, Glen Finglas volunteer, who recommended her.


I loved Jennie’s clever ways to help remember.  An example was how to remember English (Pedunculate) oak, which has wide lobes at the bottom of the leaf, and leaves that are attached to the branch, but acorns with long stalks,  (as opposed to sessile oak, which has longer leaf stalks but acorns attached to the branch).  Jennie suggested to remember English oak as a stocky English gentleman with hunched shoulders and smoking a pipe!   Now I will never forget how to distinguish between the two species.  Jennie also helped us to see that no two trees are alike, and how so many factors influence them, such as aspect, soil, altitude, human interference, grazing and indeed hybridisation……we have blended families in the human population so why not with trees too!  


Here are some pictures from the day.  I hope that those of you who attended enjoyed it as much as I did.


Jennie demonstrating being a sessile oak, which have branches that point upwards more than those of pedunculate oak, which are flatter.

Using lenses to spot the differences between silvery and downy birch and also hybrids between the two.

More hand lens work!

Eared willow seeds almost ripe, whereas some other willow species seeds have already dispersed.

Out on the Brig o’ Turk loop identifying trees! The group split into two so that the numbers were smaller for easier crowding around a tree!

Using keys to help with identification.

ID’ing in the glorious sunshine!

Getting stuck in to alder ID!

Hand lenses outdoors….we found lots of interesting galls and invertebrates too!

Bluebells still at their best!

Group B after lunch, starting their afternoon walk around the Lendrick Hill and Dam route, with Alan Christie, volunteer guided walk leader.

Trying out the newly repaired boardwalk.

Such a beautiful day!

Alan waxing lyrical about Glen Finglas and the The Great Trossachs Forest….his knowledge about the landscape, its history and wildlife, and the work of the Woodland Trust there is incredible!

Wonderful views from the Lendrick Hill walk

Alan sharing more interesting info….on this stretch he showed us lots of wildflowers, with other knowledgeable volunteers chipping in!

Wall to wall blue sky!

Such a stunning place!

At the end of the walk…Alan even recited a poem for us!


These next images were taken by William Vale of the second group, who did their guided walk in the morning and tree ID in the afternoon.  They even managed to record some ancient trees along the way!


Recording an oak for the Ancient Tree Inventory.

..and last but not least, another picture of Group A on their morning guided walk, led by Jill Donnachie, along to Little Druim Wood.  


In Little Druim Wood

…and some more of those stunning bluebells….in a couple of weeks they will have gone and we will have to wait for next year’s show.


What a special day it was…..let’s hope the sun shines for our other volunteer gatherings across the UK this year!


Matilda Scharsach

Scotland Volunteering Development Officer.

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