Tree planting chance near West Linton

Volunteers are invited to take part in community tree planting at Whitmuir Community Farm, Lamancha, next Saturday (March 22).

The award-winning organic farm’s staff, supporters and volunteers hope to plant 420 native broadleave saplings donated by the Woodland Trust over the afternoon, between 1-4pm.

Farmer Pete Ritchie said: “The trees will help to attract more birds, butterflies, bugs and small animals. They will provide cosy protected areas for our sheep and lambs in colder weather and more shade in hot weather, plus they will provide forage and fodder for our chickens, and protection from large bird predators.

“By adding more variety to our open areas, we want to encourage more people to come and enjoy the outdoors and learn more about nature, wildlife and the environment.”

Ritchie and his wife Heather bought the 130-acre former sheep farm in 2000 and have since set up a butchery, opened a restaurant and farm shop, and organised a supporters network, alongside sustainable farming.

Woodland Trust’s John Tucker said: “The UK has just 13 per cent woodland cover compared to a European average of 44 per cent and the trees we do have are under increasing threat from diseases and development. By teaming up with the likes of Whitmuir, the Woodland Trust is working to double our Native Woodland cover and enrich our landscape.”

Wear suitable clothing and take a spade to take part.