Last year I collected hundreds of Beech masts and Hazel nuts, and managed to grow quite a lot of them and to get them established in the wood. However last year was very poor for acorns, in fact not just very poor but there were none, at least not in the Gloucestershire/Monmouthshire area.
So this year I had high hopes for a good acorn year and earlier in the year there were loads of them developing on all the Oaks in Ninewells wood.
However despite looking out for acorns falling onto the roads in the local area, I had not seen any and as I am migrating south to Andalucía in a weeks time and not returning for some weeks, I thought this was my last chance to get some acorns.
I had a good look round and there were very few to be seen, most of the trees had none and there were just a few trees with a few quite stunted specimens. All the trees had nice fat buds ready to burst forth next years leaves but very few acorns to be seen. One tree had some green nibbled bits underneath where the squirrels had been eating what was available. So it looked a bit grim.
On my route through the wood there is a muddy wet area and I always have a careful look at the mud to see what footprints are there. This time I found dog prints, you always get them, some deer prints, I think probably Fallow deer as they were quite large and there was a small print with quite pointed toes and the trace of a pad behind the toes/claws and I think it could be hedgehog.
I also spotted a small area of Sphagnum moss, which I had not seen over there before and a reasonable sized Ash tree, you always seem to be able to find something new.
Finally I decided to visit the woods on the other side of the river Wye, ie the English side where I had found, about a week ago, just one Oak tree that was producing a good quantity of acorns. This time several trees were producing acorns so I collected about 400 which will be added to the 300 I already have and when my small plastic pots arrive, I will plant them up. The trees they have been collected from are quite impressive so should produce good offspring.