Call for young people to take part in acorn campaign

Learners across Wales are being given the chance to play their part in tackling the climate and nature emergencies by taking part in some ‘antics’ this autumn.

Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) annual Acorn Antics campaign returns between September 13 and October 25 to collect seeds to grow more trees from locally collected acorns. 

Increasing the tree canopy across Wales is a crucial part of efforts to tackle the climate and nature emergencies and to help achieve the nation’s net zero carbon ambitions.

Learners from all corners of Wales are being asked to help make sure we have plentiful stocks of native, local oak trees by collecting acorns in their area.

Once collected, the acorns can be dropped off at a local NRW office and education settings are then rewarded with a payment for their efforts, based on the weight and quality of the acorns collected.

Clare Pillman, NRW’s chief executive, said:

“This is a great excuse to get young people out into the fresh air, learning about trees and woodlands whilst raising funds at the same time.
“The campaign has gone from strength to strength since it launched in 2017 with a range of groups from schools and nurseries to Brownies and Young Farmers getting involved. 
“We’re grateful to all the schools and education groups who have been involved to date, and we are looking forward to this year’s campaign.
“With an ever-changing climate, Welsh oak trees face a fight for survival against pests and diseases. Trees grown from local seed stock will have a higher growth rate and ability to survive and resist diseases than trees grown and imported from further afield. 
“Having education groups from across Wales taking part in our Acorn Antics campaign helps us increase and strengthen the genetic gene pool of our Welsh oak trees.
“This is part of our wider work to reverse the decline in biodiversity, and to build the resilience of ecosystems so nature can adapt and continue to provide the basis of all life – clean air, clean water, food and a stable climate.”

Last year more than 825kg of acorns were collected from 40 locations across Wales generating £3,442 for the education settings that rolled up their sleeves, embraced the fresh air and scoured the ground for acorns.

Once collected the acorns are delivered to a tree nursery for grading, weighing and planting.

When they have developed into small trees, they are planted within the area from which they were collected as acorns. 

NRW aims to plant more than 870,000 broadleaf trees each year, 300,000 of these will be Welsh oak trees and Acorn Antics plays a big part in helping us achieve this.

You can take part in the campaign by visiting Natural Resources Wales / Acorn Antics