Arran Healthy Outdoors Tree Nursery
Arran Healthy Outdoors volunteers meet up weekly, working together to assist in the care and maintenance of the NTS’s most iconic country park at Brodick. All the activities, like vegetation clearing, help improve the fitness (both physical and mental) of the group, while also providing opportunities to learn new skills, reduce stress, and meet new people in a friendly outdoor setting.
The group will establish a plant nursery to produce native trees and wildflowers, generally using locally sourced seed. This will enable the restoration of the native woodland and its associated ground flora within woodland areas previously inundated with Rhododendron ponticum.
The skills gained by the volunteers to date include large-scale vegetation clearance (use of loppers, saws, plant identification) putting up the fence (mells, pinch bars, hammers, spirit levels), re-felting shed roofs (working at height), and compost bin construction (design). The grant will give the local volunteers (current and new) the opportunity to construct 12 raised beds for the tree seedlings and benching for the wildflower plugs. As well as continuing to use the skills already learned, the group will further develop their understanding of plant identification, seed germination, pricking out and potting up, tranferring to the raised beds, and planting out. Through the skills already developed one of the team now has a temporary contract with the gardening team at Brodick Castle.