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National Tree Week at Little Assynt Tree Nursery

Last week we celebrated National Tree Week at Little Assynt Tree Nursery with the reopening of our Gaelic Alphabet Tree Trail. Pupils from Lochinver Primary School prepared tags with the Gaelic names for each of the trees and the letter they represent in the Gaelic Alphabet. Pupils then took us on a tour of the trail. Well done to all involved! Visitors are always welcome, so come along and have a wander along our new trail!

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An Apple a Day….

Apple loving primary 1 to 4 pupils from Lochinver Primary School visited Little Assynt Tree Nursery to learn about the year in a life of an orchard apple tree. They spent the morning finding out what happens to the trees throughout all the seasons from blossom and pollination, to thinning, harvesting and pruning. Our Fruit growers of the future!

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Strained Wire Fencing Course

6 local people braved the wind at Clachtoll to complete a fencing course last month. It was organised by CALL and Assynt Learning with funding from the Coastal Communities Fund and Caplich Community Benefit Fund. The participants learned all aspects of strained wire fencing and successfully erected a 50m fence.    

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Tree Nursery Summer Open Day

Little Assynt Tree Nursery hosted a summer open day full of great local crafts, home-baking and of course plenty of trees! It was well attended and we even had some little helpers with rowan berry crushing! The building of bug hotels to house our pollinators over winter was accompanied by live music from our amazing local musicians. 

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Tree Nursery Host Dry Stone Wall Training

Assynt Learning organised master dry stone wall builder Dave Goulder to instruct four rural professionals in the skills necessary to achieve Level II in dry stone wall construction. The participants joined the course as a steppingstone to the dry stone wall builder instructor qualification, and as a prerequisite for quoting for dry stone wall contract work. The training was organised for the Coigach – Assynt Living Landscape, and supported by the Coastal Communities Fund.

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Turning Fingers Green!

Local people and visitors to the area interested in developing some basic horticulture skills have been attending taster sessions at Little Assynt Tree Nursery. So far, fortnightly sessions have introduced participants to making compost, filling cells, transplanting seedlings (known as pricking out) and taking cuttings.  Local participant Katrina Martin said “the training has provided a great opportunity to learn about various aspects of tree seedling management in a friendly, welcoming and fun environment. I’ve really enjoyed learning a wide range of useful (and transferable – I’ve already applied some of them at home!) skills whilst contributing to this brilliant project.”  If you would like to learn more about training opportunities at the tree nursery contact Susan at spease@coigach-assynt.org

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Tree of the Month!

Just in case you missed our tree of the month posts from June, we would like to introduce you to the lovely Wych Elm. Last month we were out collecting seed, found inside their winged fruit before the wind whisked them away!             The once dominant English elm descended from just a few elm trees brought to the UK by the Romans. They reproduced using suckers which resulted in genetically identical populations. This made them susceptible to Dutch elm disease, causing a drastic decline in elm numbers. Our lovely native wych elm, however, is more genetically diverse. Progress of the disease has been slower in this species and it has been thought that one of the reasons may be due to the fact that wych elm does not sucker. Another may be that the bark beetle that spreads the disease may not favour the bark of wych elm or they may just not thrive in our climate! We are lucky to have a stronghold of wych elm in our isolated woodlands.        

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Green Fingers Training!

Little Assynt Tree Nursery has put together fortnightly taster sessions in basic tree growing skills. Over 8 weeks you will learn a variety of skills including mixing compost, sowing seeds, preparing cells, pricking out, taking cuttings, tree identification and collecting seeds. Starting on Tuesday 5th July, the sessions run from 12-2pm. We can take a maximum of 6 people at a time. If the course proves popular, we are happy to run another day! Booking is essential. Contact Susan at spease@coigach-assynt.org for more information or to book your place. © Susan Pease

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Rogart Research Team Visit!

Last week pupils from Rogart Primary School visited Little Assynt Tree Nursery on a research mission! They are starting their own tree nursery and were having a look at how we do things at Little Assynt. The budding horticulturists learned about all the stages in growing trees and got hands on transplanting Juniper and Scots Pine seedlings and taking Aspen cuttings. We explored Culag Wood where the pupils collected Wych Elm seed and looked at the effects of deer on trees and seedlings. They also became bees and flowers as they learned about pollination and buzzed around on white shore!

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Primary 7 Go Wild!

Since April, Primary 7 pupils from Lochinver, Stoer, Achiltibuie and Ullapool have been part of an exciting transition project ‘Discovering Wild Places’. It has given the pupils the opportunity to work together to discover, explore and conserve wild spaces, and share their experiences, fulfilling all elements of the Discover level of the John Muir Award, before they head into S1 at Ullapool High School. Pupils have experienced mountain, woodland, and freshwater environments over the last few months…. Back in the hailstones of April, pupils braved the cold to visit the base of Quinag to carry out heather monitoring in a mountain environment. © S Pease Fortunately the sun shone when they completed important tree seedling sampling in Culag Woods later in the month. Pupils learned how to take GPS coordinates and tag seedlings so the same trees can be sampled by next years’ P7s to monitor the effects of deer. © S Pease Wildflower identification and tree measurements were on the menu when pupils visited Little Assynt Estate in May. They also got hands on experience with tree seedlings at Little

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