In the summer of 2015, a new autochthonous seed harvesting campaign has gone ahead to produce saplings for sowing the connectivity forests for the LIFE project. The work has been implemented by the project’s field team, but also with the help of volunteers, like FOP trainees and local people from the villages within the scope of the project, who have taken part in the harvest.
Over the course of the project, between September 2013 and August 2015, a total of 653.5 kg of autochthonous fruits and seeds have been harvested from 10 different species (birch, common hazel, alder buckthorn, crab apple, wild cherry, damson, alpine buckthorn, raspberry, whitebeam and rowan). The birch, wild cherry, whitebeam and rowan are species regulated under Forest Reproductive Material Production Standards, so the seeds have been sourced in the appropriate places under the control of the Castilla y León and Principado de Asturias Governments. To ensure the quantity and quality of the seeds, trees with a good appearance and high productivity have been selected. The harvest has been collected from diverse trees to ensure greater genetic variability of the future fruit trees, and in some cases harvested from trees visited by the brown bear.
The seeds have been taken to the partner Forestry Nurseries for the preparation and production of the plants necessary for the project.