Archive for the ‘Previous projects’ Category

Get ready for Christmas

It always seems like a mad dash to get everything ready in time for Christmas Day, presents to buy and wrap, decorations to organise and put up, food to prepare and cook, dressing the tree. How we get time for it all I’ll never know!

Perfect for making into Christmas decorations

Perfect for making into Christmas decorations

But here’s one way to slow down, take a breather and get something done in time for Christmas, naturally.

We’ve been busy gathering material from Griffin Wood over the last few weeks and it’s nearly time to make them into some natural festive decorations. Using teasels, holly and a variety of other materials you could make this Christmas truly unique!

Join us on Wednesday 9th December from 5pm – 7pm at The Leaf Centre in St Helens and bring a bit of the woods to your Christmas celebrations.

How to get there…

It’s nearly Tree O’Clock!!

It’s Tree O’Clock

If you believe trees are special help us to plant a World Record!

Tree O'Clock

Help us plant a world record!

Celebrating National Tree Week we’re taking part in the Tree O’Clock event on December 5th from 11am – 12pm. How many trees can we plant in one hour?

Where to park…

Find a Mersey Forest Tree O’Clock event by you…

From tiny acorns…

Well, we all know oak trees grow from acorns but at our recent seed collecting event we found out how to test acorns to see if a mighty oak could grow from them.

George Pilkington of Nurturing Nature took us on a guided walk through Griffin Wood to collect seeds from the mature oak, beech, blackthorn and holly.

Collecting seeds in Griffin Wood

Collecting seeds in Griffin Wood

Under the shady canopy we got nature under our fingernails searching for seeds. Many of the acorns on the groun were already non-viable, bloated by the wasp grub that had made it its home.

But the ones we did collect we took back to The Leaf Centre and tested them to see if they would grow.

“Right then,” said George, “bring out the buckets.” I wondered what we needed buckets and water for. But George showed us a quick and easy way to test acorns to see if they’ll grow.

We half filled the buckets with water and emptied our seed collected bags into them. The acorns that floated wouldn’t germinate, but the ones that sank had a better chance.

Testing acorn viability

Testing acorn viability

We scooped out the floaters and got the compost ready in the root-training seed trays, ideal for longer roots as the seeds sprout.

We had lots of seeds and it took some time with the floating and scooping but eventually the trays were ready for their first watering.

Planting seeds at The Leaf Centre

Planting seeds at The Leaf Centre

A good soaking later we placed lids on the seed trays to keep in the moisture and safely stowed them in the nursery.

Watering the newly planted seeds

Watering the newly planted seeds

It could be some time before anything happens. But when it does these tiny acorns will have a chance of becoming mighty oaks in Griffin Wood.

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Get Involved

If you want to get involved in any of the events down at Griffin Wood, or want to be a part of the Friends’ working party, contact Helen Collins at The Mersey Forest on 01925 816217

September activities

IMG_3853 (Large)More regular activities are becoming available for local people and visitors to Griffin Wood and everyone is being invited to come along and get involved by joining the Friends group, at the Leaf Centre on Chester Lane from 7pm on Thursday 3rd September 2009.

This is a great opportunity for you and your family to gain free training / to get healthier / to make new friends and if you wish, to take on a role within the committee, to help expand your skills (or just because you want to). You really can do as much or as little as you want!

The Mersey Forest will be offering free training courses for members of the group at Griffin Wood on habitat management (which can be adapted to help improve your garden); species identification and recording and other topics if people show us they are dedicated and interested in attending!

Helen Collins is the new Community Officer at The Mersey Forest, please give her a call on 01925 816217 or email helen.collins@merseyforest.org.uk if you are interested in getting involved.