Gordon’s jubilee commemorative garden was destroyed by vandals at the weekend, but the community refuses to be beaten.
To mark the Olympic torch being carried through the village and also the Queen’s Jubilee in 2012 the community got together and planted bulbs, wild flowers and two commemorative trees on an area of ground in the Sunny Braes housing development. The area was adopted by the estate residents so that there was no further cost to Scottish Borders Council, but their efforts were not appreciated by a tiny minority and some time between 10am and 1pm on Sunday, February 16, both trees were snapped and distorted.
By Monday the community had rallied round, and a request from the community council to Gordon Community Woodland Trust for replacement trees was answered immediately.
Speaking on Monday morning a Gordon resident said: “The trust immediately suggested the donation of replacement trees from their wild, self-seeded stock, in their thriving, well managed forestry project one mile away.
“Members from Gordon Community Council and Gordon Community Woodland Trust are now walking the forest area to select the correct size and quality of replacement trees together, and the transplanting will be completed by the weekend (weather permitting).
“This is a great example of the community working together, and not letting these sad actions deter the community councils actions to bring up the standard and quality of our surroundings for the village.”
Gordon Community Woodland was bought by the community in April 2002 with the aim of enabling the people of Gordon in particular, but also all members of the public in general, to enjoy the opportunities and freedom of walking through this natural area. And when the community needed the help of the trust, who run the community woodland, to replace the damaged trees they were there to help immediately.
The original trees were planted by primary school children and the village’s older citizens in 2012 and mean a great deal to many in the village, not least because the torch was carried through the village by teenager Callum Airlie, from nearby Westruther. Callum is seen as a likely star of the future in his chosen sport of sailing; tipped for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The police have been informed and investigations into the vandalism are on-going.