Children’s woodland creation is set to shine

BORDERS primary schoolchildren planted nearly 700 native trees at Buckholm Farm on Friday.

The 150 children were planting the first phase of Halkburn Diamond Wood on Torwoodlee Estate near Galashiels.

The 60-acre site will be one of 60 Diamond Woods being created across the UK as part of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods project which aims to see six million trees planted to celebrate the six decades of the Queen’s reign. Two of Scotland’s 20 Diamond Woods are being created in the Borders.

Estate owner James Pringle said on Friday: “I was amazed and delighted by the enthusiasm shown by the head teachers when I suggested the schools join in with our exciting project, and today I was quite overwhelmed by the sheer delight on the faces of the kids as they told me how many trees they had each planted. They were all a joy to have planting here and they got suitably muddy and I hope learned something about working in the countryside as well.

“I need to say a big thank you to the teachers and children involved for their input, and a huge thank you to Anna Craigen from BFT for all her efforts from the very start. I see this as giving something back – both something to nature and something to today’s youngsters.”

Children from Stow, Clovenfords, Glendinning Terrace and Balmoral Primaries in Galashiels, and from St Mary’s School in Melrose, took part, escorted by teachers, Borders Forest Trust volunteers, Scottish Borders Council rangers and Jill Donnachie from Woodland Trust Scotland.

Over the next two years, about 25,000 trees will be planted in the area, providing new habitats for native species and enhancing existing ecosystems.