Borders tree planting scheme is launched

At the launch of the Borders Tree Planting Grant, an oak tree was planted at Putton Mill farm, Duns.  Pictured L-R are;  Frank Millar (Farmer), Hugh Chalmers (Tweed Forum), Iain Laidlaw (Forestry Commission Scotland), Steve Sloan (Borders Forest Trust), Bob Kaye (Tweed Forum), Jane Rosegrant (Borders Forest Trust), Bruce Millar (farmer), Andrew Campbell (Woodland Trust Scotland), Alasdair Fagan (Borders Forest Trust).
At the launch of the Borders Tree Planting Grant, an oak tree was planted at Putton Mill farm, Duns. Pictured L-R are; Frank Millar (Farmer), Hugh Chalmers (Tweed Forum), Iain Laidlaw (Forestry Commission Scotland), Steve Sloan (Borders Forest Trust), Bob Kaye (Tweed Forum), Jane Rosegrant (Borders Forest Trust), Bruce Millar (farmer), Andrew Campbell (Woodland Trust Scotland), Alasdair Fagan (Borders Forest Trust).

Our trees are some of most valued and admired features of the Borders farmed landscape.

Tree lined avenues and small copses add much to our enjoyment of walks in the countryside. Trees, however, provide much more than this, they generate year round interest, structure and colour and provide habitat for a wide range of wildlife including insects, plants and birds.

It’s great to be investing in our future landscape tree resource for the benefit of people and wildlife

Ian Laidlaw

They have many practical functions including providing shade and shelter for livestock and are a valuable timber resource.

It is because of far sighted land managers 200 years ago, that we enjoy this tree resource today. However, our trees are under pressure from disease, extreme weather and old age and it is with this vison for the future of the Borders landscape, that a partnership of local organisations have launched the Borders Tree Planting Grant.

The grant is open to any organisation or individual that can put together a small scale tree planting project such as those found in hedgerows, parkland and school grounds. Woodlands less than 0.25ha in size are also eligible, where mostly native broadleaved tree species are proposed.

The grant can offer individual land owners, community groups and schools up to £1,000 towards the cost of buying trees and the associated protection necessary for successful tree establishment. Labour costs are also eligible for community groups and schools.

Iain Laidlaw from Forestry Commission Scotland said: “It’s great to be investing in our future landscape tree resource for the benefit of people and wildlife. We would particularly encourage farmers and land managers to take advantage of this unique funding for small scale tree planting, which I don’t think is available anywhere else in Scotland.”

This view was echoed by Andrew Campbell of Woodland Trust Scotland. Andrew commented: “We are delighted to be supporting this initiative, as concern is growing over the impact that Ash die back disease may have on our trees here in the Borders.”

The project is part funded by Forestry Commission Scotland, Woodland Trust Scotland, Fallago Environment Fund and Scottish Borders Council. It is administered by Tweed Forum and Borders Forest Trust. Funding is in place for three years and applications will be assessed and approved on a rolling programme. Further information and application forms are available to view and fill out on-line, by logging onto either the Tweed Forum or Borders Forest Trust websites.