When’s the right time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago! When’s the best time to collect acorns and other tree seeds? NOW!

Last week, 22nd September marked the autumn equinox - the official changing of the seasons. With leaves starting to fall, and temperatures cooling, now is the time for foraging. Between now and mid-October, it’s prime seed gathering time! With that in mind Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Cornwall Council have partnered up to launch a county-wide autumn seed search; asking local people to collect, grow and plant tree seeds in Cornwall.

Now is the time!

Nature has been and will continue to be here for us during the Covid-19 pandemic in Cornwall. This is a chance to get involved and do something good for nature in return.

Increasing tree cover is a natural solution to climate change and one of the positive ways we can play our part in tackling the climate and ecological crisis. It also benefits wildlife by creating habitats for birds, insects and other animals. Anyone and everyone can get involved - it’s a simple activity, can be done within social distancing guidelines and is a great way for people to connect with nature.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust are encouraging all members, families and everyone across Cornwall to get out into nature over the next few weeks to collect acorns and other tree seeds.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust has produced a step-by-step guide bursting with all the information you need to grow seeds into saplings, helping to contribute to Cornwall Council’s target of the Forest for Cornwall covering 2% of the land by 2030.

Young boy planting seeds

Young boy planting seeds

Collecting seeds from Cornish soil and replanting in the county is a way of growing a stock of trees of local origin. It’s suggested that this helps with producing strong saplings and trees which are more likely to thrive as they are already adapted to suit the Cornish environment.

Carolyn Cadman, Chief Executive of Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said:

“The Forest for Cornwall has captured the imagination of the public and our members, and will be great for nature’s recovery across Cornwall. A good supply of young trees is needed, and we can all help by taking part in the Autumn Seed Search and growing seedlings to plant in the right places. You can keep us updated on your progress online too!”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, said: 

“Increasing tree cover is a natural solution to climate change and one of the positive ways we can play our part in tackling the climate and ecological crisis. It also benefits wildlife by creating habitats for birds, insects and other animals. Anyone and everyone can get involved. Foraging is a simple activity, can be done within social distancing guidelines and is a great way for people to connect with nature.”

Philip Marsden, Cornwall-based author, said:

“Grow More Trees is a very welcome initiative to encourage everyone to get involved in tree planting. One of the problems with many large-scale plantings is that they buy in trees from elsewhere, helping to spread diseases. Gathering acorns and seeds locally, planting them locally - as well as putting aside areas to allow natural regeneration - is the way to healthy woodland and good habitat.”

Visit our 'Grow More Trees: Autumn Seed Search' page to learn more about the project and how to begin collecting seeds during October.