Little Assynt Tree Nursery produces trees and shrubs from native stock, to be used in native woodland schemes on both CALL partner ground and elsewhere in the North-West Highlands.

Grown from seed collected in local woodlands, the trees are ideally suited to the climate and soil conditions of this area and will help in improving local woodlands and creating new woodland.

Species under cultivation include oak, birch, rowan, hazel, scots pine, juniper and dwarf birch, holly and wych elm.

The price list is available here.

Currently the nursery produces around 30,000 trees per year, but aspires to increase this output to around 100,000.

Want to help Nursery Manager, Nick Clooney, accomplish this challenging task? Check out volunteer opportunities available at Little Assynt Tree Nursery.

For tree sales or queries regarding the Tree Nursery, contact Manager Nick Clooney on 01571 872010 or email nclooney@coigach-assynt.org

Nick at the Little Assynt Tree Nursery

History

A lack of reliable sources of trees with a local provenance led CALL to develop a local tree nursery, which officially opened in October 2012.  Culag Community Woodland Trust made available an area of land at Little Assynt Field, five miles east of Lochinver.

Planning permission was granted in 2012 and funding was confirmed to allow a Tree Nursery Manager to be appointed. Nick Clooney from Achiltibuie has had the complex task of establishing the nursery from scratch (in a field with a great view but no mains water or power) with the goal of making it financially self-sustaining in three years. No mean feat!

A local contractor levelled the site, installed drainage and prepared it for the tunnels and shed to go up.  Two large polytunnels were erected and a timber-clad shed was constructed. The shed serves as a store, office and tea-room for Nick and volunteers, who come and help out at the nursery, or with seed collection in the surrounding area.

The first seeds were sown in 2013, some trees being grown in soil-beds and some in root-trainer cells.  Outdoor beds have since been established for sowing and lining-out seedlings to grow on to saleable size.

The first rowans were offered for sale at the Assynt Games in Lochinver in 2013, with CALL staff selling trees at other highland games events, fairs and shows.

The eventual goal of the nursery is for it to become a viable business and to sustain quality rural jobs.  An added benefit is as a focus for a variety of community activities, involving young and old.