THE launch of Scotland’s first Tree Hugging Week took place on Monday at Morebattle Primary School, where pupils were given the target of hugging 50 trees, writes Corin Anderson.
The event was organised by Borders Forest Trust, which provides free outdoor education, to celebrate the organisation’s 15th anniversary and raise awareness of the importance of trees and wildlife.
“The response has been fantastic,” the trust’s communications officer, Louisa Finch, told TheSouthern.
“Twenty schools from Eyemouth to Morebattle and several hundred pupils are taking part, as well as many individuals and groups such as Scouts and Guides.”
When asked why Tree Hugging Week, sponsored by Treesurv Woodland Management, was taking place this month, Louisa told us: “September is the start of the planting season and the autumn colours bring a new dash of excitement to the project.”
A Morebattle teacher who attended the event said: “The children have been looking forward to the tree hugging all day and certainly enjoyed themselves, but it would have been of more benefit if there had been a follow-up factual talk to educate the children about the trees themselves.
“Whilst the children are showing interest in trees, it would be a good idea to back up their enthusiasm with knowledge.”
The children had been given the option to dress up as wildlife creatures – but the message hadn’t quite got through and, instead, trees were being hugged by Transformers, nurses, princesses, police officers and Spidermen.
Eight-year-old Grace Anderson, daughter of organiser Sarah and dressed as Carrots the rabbit, said: “I wanted to hug trees to show my love for them and show that I care about the environment.”
Borders Forest Trust hopes that in the next few years the event will go Scotland-wide, if not worldwide.