Location: Across Scotland

Time: Approx. a day a month, potentially a day a week in autumn.

About the Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust is one of the UK’s leading conservation charities. We have over 500,000 members and supporters and more than 1,000 sites all over the UK.

We believe life’s better with trees. We protect and campaign on behalf of the UK’s woods, plant more trees, and restore ancient woodland, for the benefit of wildlife and people.

The role

As lead volunteer, as well as collecting seeds, you will be responsible for coordinating the logistics of collection activity of the other volunteers in your location (e.g. by setting up dates to meet up and collect) and you will also be responsible for storing collection kit and for posting or delivering seeds collected to the relevant location.   

However, as lead volunteer you don’t have to be responsible for running the activity on survey or collection days – in other words you won’t be in charge of the other volunteers. The collections will be informal, with each volunteer responsible for their own activity and health and safety on the day.

You’d be starting your role with us in August 2021 and there’s no need to be an expert - all training and equipment will be provided.

Across the UK there is sometimes a shortage of locally provenant native tree stock of certain tree species and in certain tree zones. The Woodland Trust therefore struggles to procure trees for planting on some of our own sites and for our other tree planting projects.

One of our ways to address this is the collection of tree seeds of species and in tree zones that are experiencing shortages of supply. We then facilitate the growing on of these seeds into trees we can buy back and plant.

We are looking for applications for volunteers to collect on a regular basis (mostly in the autumn) in the following geographical locations:

Within a 30-mile radius of:

  • Oban (Woodland Trust Dunollie Wood)
  • Shieldaig (Woodland Trust Ben Shieldaig)
  • Crinan Wood (Woodland Trust) in Argyll
  • Loch Arkaig Pine Forest (Woodland Trust) near Spean Bridge
  • Glen Finglas (Woodland Trust Site) near Callendar
  • Kildrummy Estate near Alford in Aberdeenshire
  • Mull
  • The Western Isles (Harris and Lewis only)
  • The Morvern peninsular
  • Islay

Key activities

Sometimes you will attend organised surveys and collections run by your volunteer manager or sometimes you will set up activities with other local collection volunteers once you have received the relevant training, whereas on other occasions you may carry out surveys and collections on your own.

Your volunteer role will include some or all of the following:

  • Visiting sites with your volunteer manager, or with other volunteers, or on your own, to identify tree species and locations for seed collection.
  • Organising dates for survey or seed collection activity with other local volunteers and coordinating the arrangements for these.
  • Storing seed collection materials for the group of volunteers that you are coordinating.
  • Seasonal monitoring of trees to review when seeds are in optimum condition for collection.
  • Collection of tree seeds using the kit provided.
  • Simple processing of seeds and posting on to the relevant recipient location for ongoing processing, storage and planting. This may include posting on of seeds collected by the group of volunteers that you are coordinating.
  • Processing, planting and ongoing growing of seeds into saplings ready for planting out in a location agreed with your volunteer manager.
  • Volunteering in small tree nurseries (either on Woodland Trust sites or partner commercial or community nurseries) to help out with maintenance of the trees grown from the collected seed.

Experience required

  • A basic knowledge of native tree identification, although training will be provided.
  • A good attention to detail is needed in terms of careful collection and processing of seeds.
  • An ability to work on your own initiative to initiate and carry out collections that are not run by your volunteer manager.
  • Good organisational skills and the ability to coordinate the activity of others.


Expenses will be reimbursed for return journeys from home based upon public transport cost or mileage at standard rates for the Woodland Trust. There may be a cap on maximum mileage covered for individual journeys. All other expenses must be agreed in advance with your volunteer manager. Postage of seeds will be reimbursed.

Apply for this role

Are you interested in this role? Please complete the volunteer application form and return it by email to: 


Or send it by post to:

National Volunteering Team
Woodland Trust
Kempton Way
Lincolnshire NG31 6LL