Or rather the shortage of them due to parks deciding that they're a potential H&S hazard, and are actively felling them in my locale under the pretence of them being aged and therefore dangerous (H&S paranoia about the conker season I say).
Anyway, over the last few years as I collect the harvest (it's a bloke thing, it has to be done... alright?), I've always scattered random handfuls of the too small to win with conkers, into the undergrowth and remote copses as I walk the dog. Well this spring I've counted between 100/120 new Chestnut saplings that are from the scatterings of the last 2 to 4 years.
So, am I grossly irresponsible, or have I ensured the next generation's right to play the traditional Autumn playground game for the rest of this century?
I loosely estimate that 1 in a thousand has germinated, and near on 100% of the saplings have a chance of maturing from saplings as they are all in pretty much remote and rarely walked areas.
I did it after listening to one of Radio 4s reading about a French bloke that scattered millions of Acorn nuts around his locale about a hundred years ago and created a mature primeval forest single handedly.
I can't remember who he was though, can any one shed some light on it?
The shortage of horse chestnut trees could well be down to disease click here and the local councils may have a legitimate reason for felling. Beech and Red Oak trees are also under threat from disease click here
The park management denied that it was H&S related, but the park gardeners said it was incase someone got injured by falling conkers (well, they do tend to do that), or by the sticks thrown up to dislodge that elusive winner at the top.
I'm quite inspired by my saplings, so I'll continue to do it and with more tree types.. How rebellious is that then...:)
They are felling the chestnut trees, but not the 150+ year old beech, oak and sweet chestnut. But more importantly, they will not replant Conker Chestnut at all as like for like, as the others have been.
We have lost a lot of our Horse Chestnuts to a disease, is it creeping canker or something? So they had to cut down a lot of trees to stop this spreading, as it gets in the soil. We are told that it will be 50 years before they can replant. The spring was a little lacking without the usual display of candles. I don't know that this is the same excuse as HS, that sounds a bit odd to me.