T & G planting update

Well it’s been a busy year at Talla & Gameshope, not only have we seen the formation of a regular volunteer group but it’s also seen the start of our first Forestry Grant Funded area. So here’s a rundown of what’s been happening in 2017 at T&G;

The planting started in April with 13 volunteers camping around Talla barn, using the barn as our main base. The wood burning stove in the barn made for a great space for the volunteers to warm up, relax and share stories through the evening. The weekend was very fruitful with 2000 willows planted at Talla Craig.

During the summer a dozen of very enthusiastic volunteers from Network Rail came to do some volunteering work, and planted 300 trees along the track from Talla barn and down to the Talla Water.

In November we had our first “bothy” camp, were we used Gameshope bothy as our base for cooking, camping around and an evening social area. 30 volunteers came through the weekend, and coupled with great weather and fine company, it was a great weekend. Through the weekend just over 3,800 trees were planted along the Games Hope River.

On the 18th November we held a memorial plant for a regular BFT volunteer, around 200 people came and planted 2710 trees over the day.

Then the first Sunday of December 2017 saw the start of a new monthly volunteer day, and on that day we planted 200 trees.

The first Forest Grant Funded area is being planted by contractors Treesurv, it is a 45ha area with 73,430 trees being planted there. So far just over 40,000 trees have been planted. The site is particularly difficult, with quite a few obstacles to overcome. The first obstacle is the fact that the compartment is so steep. Not only is it steep but it has a concave slope, making it particularly daunting and needing great care when walking over it, never mind carrying hundreds of canes, vole guards and trees. The steep aspect also creates another problem in that the plants and materials cannot be moved around the compartment by machine (argo, quad), so it has all had to be moved by hand, making it quite a difficult undertaking indeed. And of course the weather is always an obstacle, the steep aspect does mean that they are unable to plant certain areas when it is wet, snowy, icy, windy.. so that accounts for most days in the Scottish Borders during Winter ! However, they are managing and doing really well, and the site is looking great.

More to come this planting season with the volunteer planting weekend on the 28th to the 29th April. Details can be found on our events page

Andy Wilson

Site Officer