2019 has flown by in a whirl of trees. From growing trees to harvesting trees, it all happened in 2019!! We had a really busy but very successful year in the tree nursery. After a stock take we have the very first 5,000 trees ready to be planted out in their final destination, its like the first babies leaving home!! 4,500 trees will make a start towards our Woodland Creation Project (WCP) to eventually plant 17,000 native trees by Feb 2021. Anybody that has just done the maths will know that there is only another 12,500 trees to grow and plants by this time next year, no pressure there then! The remaining 500 trees in stock will be planted out in other areas of woodland on the island. Below is pictures of our Oak and Birch taken in September when they were in full leaf.
The harvesting project started in August 2019 and concluded on schedule in October. 3,300 tonnes of mainly Sitka Spruce was harvested from the forestry plantation. 75% was sold and exported off island to finance the project whilst 25% has been retained to give us 3 – 5yrs of wood fuel. The harvesting project is the start of our long term forest plan that involves a phased programme of harvesting across the main plantation. We had a fantastic model of community spirit and smaller contractors working together of which we very much hope will repeat again in the next phase. Replanting on the harvested areas could happen as early as 2022 after surveying the sites to monitor weevil activity and soil acidity.
Changes have been made to the volunteer programme this year only having places available for the month of June for individual volunteers and we have two weeks available for conservation working holidays in April. So if you are interested in volunteering this year, apply quickly as places are filling up fast!!