Real concern for our Borders woodlands

Mature beech trees create significant landscape features in the Borders countryside.

Mature beech trees create significant landscape features in the Borders countryside.

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With autumn almost upon us, it is timely to think about the positive effects that trees have on our lives here in the Borders.

The farmed landscape is a patchwork of different habitats, but it is the trees that give it the special quality that many visitors enjoy, especially during the tail end of the year when the colours are at their best. We may not be able to rival east coast America for the volume of trees but we can at least match them on diversity in tree species and range of colours.

Our trees though, are under threat from a number of sources, not least from extreme weather and disease. There is real concern amongst the woodland management community in the Borders, that our Ash trees could become very seriously affected through dieback, due to disease. In order to ensure we continue to replace our ageing amenity trees, a number of organisations including; Forestry Commission Scotland, Woodland Trust Scotland, Fallago Environment Fund and Scottish Borders Council, have formed a working partnership to provide funding for small scale tree planting schemes. Grants of up to £1,000 may be available to private individuals, land managers and farmers who are able and willing to plant small copses up to 0.25ha in size. Individual broadleaved trees, hedgerow trees, parkland trees and tree lines, are all eligible. Grants for hedge planting are not eligible unfortunately.

More information can be obtained from scheme administrators, Tweed Forum and Borders Forest Trust. Application forms can be downloaded from their websites.