It's a great year

Despite all the bad news we keep hearing, 2022 is actually fantastic.

We’re in a mast year, which means that the fruits of the forest are at a peak level. There are more than enough seeds and fruits to guarantee good winter food for the wild creatures and enough left over for new trees and plants to grow.

As part of this festival of fecundity Ed’s been out acorn collecting on one of the Slow The Flow* volunteer days. In the beautiful ancient woodlands of Hardcastle Crags, near Hebden Bridge, the crew aged from 2 to 72 years of age picked 19kg of acorns in a morning. That’s potentially 5,000 new oak trees.

Foraging acorns in good company was fun. Knowing that mighty oaks will stand because we could be bothered to get out and picking was satisfying.

Slow The Flow run regular volunteer days in Calderdale which are always sociable and productive. You get to do things like build leaky dams and other natural flood management features.

Climate change and flooding can feel overwhelming, so it’s nice to be able do something about it in a hands on and practical way.

We packed the bags of acorns that we’d collected, some of which were already sprouting, onto the HebTroCo cargo bike and took them back to our unit, where they were collected the next day by the Acorn Man, James from White Rose Forest.

Along with acorns collected by other groups, ours have now gone on to be sorted and planted in a massive nursery in Leeds (that has capacity to grow 1 million trees). After 2 to 3 years the saplings will be ready to be planted as part of the White Rose Forest across West and North Yorkshire. Partners include councils, businesses, communities and landowners who will be able to buy the saplings back and get planting.

As we like to say to moaners on Facebook, “go forth and multiply.”

HebTroCo support Slow The Flow, Calderdale’s natural flood management charity. More here