Beautiful spaces resonate in the hearts of people. The South of Scotland is fortunate to have many such places. However, it also has one of the lowest amount of native woodland cover in Scotland. Borders Forest Trust is working to change this, both on our own properties and also by working in partnership with other land owners.
Since 1996 we have planted over 1.5 million native trees in the Borders and Dumfriesshire. We expect to exceed 2 million by 2020. Our work extends from areas of the Eastern Borders through into Dumfriesshire. There is a particular concentration in the Western Borders in the areas of St Mary’s Loch. Planting styles vary depending on the site and the needs of the community or landowner. We plant woodland pasture (single trees in boxes), small copses, hedgerows and on through large areas of native woodland.
We are passionate about putting the right tree in the right place and respecting the importance of habitats other than forests.
However, it is not just about trees, nor about numbers. We are passionate about putting the right tree in the right place and respecting the importance of habitats other than forests. So we work to preserve and restore peatlands and heathlands and to improve the ecology of water courses. We are also bringing back areas of montane scrub, one of the rarest habitats in the UK.
We own six properties ourselves. These include three smaller properties: Lindean and Bailhill Wood (19 acres of mature mixed woodland), Ettrick Willows (16 acres of willow carr on a floodplain) and Drygrange Community Woodland (23 acres with a lovely mature riparian strip, some new planting and a community orchard site). Our three large properties are Carrifran Wildwood, Corehead Farm and the Devil’s Beeftub and the Talla & Gameshope estate. These are looked at in more detail in the links below.
So, to learn more about our place-based work, read on, and especially look at our newest initiative Reviving the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland, which brings together our three largest properties.