We love trees! #NationalTreeWeek 2016
Favourite trees and planting projects in the Clyde and Avon Valley
From seeds and saplings to mature and gnarled old veteran trees, there’s a huge variety of glorious trees and woodlands within the Clyde and Avon Valley. To celebrate this, we are taking part in #NationalTreeWeek 2016 by highlighting special trees and tree planting projects for each day of the campaign.
Running from 26 November to 4 December, the campaign is the UK’s biggest annual festival of trees, led by The Tree Council. Each year, the festival inspires around a quarter of a million people to plant up to a million trees. Below, and in no particular order, is a rundown of special Clyde and Avon Valley trees and Heritage Lottery Fund supported tree planting projects.
In 2015, 40 volunteers helped replant of an area of ancient parkland and tree lined avenues leading from the stately home of Dalzell House to the River Clyde at RSPB Scotland Baron’s Haugh. Sweet Chestnuts were planted in-between, and will eventually replace the centuries old Horse Chestnuts which line the Chestnut Walk. The young trees are not susceptible to the same diseases as the old trees which have been under attack from disease for some time. Find out more here.
Did you know that the definition of an orchard is five or more fruit trees? This was the basis of Central Scotland Green Network Trust’s Plant a Mini Orchard 2015/16 Campaign, which saw 60 schools in the Clyde and Avon Valley and Inner Forth areas plant and look after an orchard in their school grounds. Download the resources on planning, planting, management, maintenance and a Teacher’s Resource Pack to find out how your school can still get involved, by clicking here.
The recent removal of 18 hectares of non-native conifers at Chatelherault Country Park is one in a growing number of rewilding projects in the UK which look at expanding native habitats, increasing biodiversity and connecting communities with the nature on their doorsteps. The project will not involve any replanting since the ancient woodland soils, protected throughout time by their steep gorge location, are so rich in fungi and other micro-organisms, that natural regeneration of native woodland is expected to be above head height within a decade. The native woodland provides better habitats for native species and restores historic viewpoints over the Avon Gorge. Find out more here.
The Covenanter’s Oak in Dalzell Estate, Motherwell, is thought to be the oldest living thing in North Lanarkshire. It got its name through providing shelter to the Covenanters of the 1800’s who were barred from holding religious services in churches. Although it has suffered in recent bad weather and stands with the help of supports, work is being undertaken to preserve this incredible tree. Plan your visit to see the Covenanter’s Oak and find out more about the fascinating history of Dalzell Estate here.
In 2013, 34 pupils at Netherton Primary School, Wishaw, took part in Carbarns Highwood tree planting in partnership with Central Scotland Green Network Trust and Clydesdale Community Initiatives. The woodland is still used today by children both in and out of school time, and children involved in planting love to watch the trees they planted grow. Find out more here.
27 volunteers and six young people supported by Barnardos planted two hectares of new woodland at Carluke Golf Course in 2014. Funded by UK Steel Enterprise, South Lanarkshire LEADER and managed by Central Scotland Green Network Trust and Artscape, the mix of deciduous and coniferous trees provides shelter along footpaths and habitats for wildlife. Find out more here.
Over 750 new plum, pear, apple and damson trees have been planted locally since the beginning of Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership supported projects in 2012, with a target of 1000 reached by 2018. This includes the creation of an entire Community Orchard (with stunning views over the Clyde towards Lanark) at Kirfieldbank, comprised of 1.35 hectares of orchard planting and 0.81 hectares of woodland planting. The Clyde Valley was once known as the Fruit Basket of Scotland - today the Clyde Valley Orchards Cooperative, supported by Rural Development Trust, have been involved in many initiatives which re-establish the orchards such as the purchase of equipment to enable commercial production of apple juice, grant schemes and skills training. Find out more here.
The Bonnington Tree Nursery established by the Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde successfully produces native trees and shrubs for planting out on the wildlife reserves and for other local projects. The native species are best for wildlife and help improve habitats for insects, birds, mammals and woodland plants. Find out more here.
The ancient Cadzow Oaks in Chatelherault Country Park, Hamilton, were planted nearly seven centuries ago when the park was part of a medieval hunting ground and are thought to be amongst the oldest in the UK. The ancient gnarled oaks support numerous flora and fauna, with ferns and mosses growing in their crevices and holes in their bark, rare beefsteak fungus growing on the bark, bats roosting inside their hollow trunks and birds nesting in their branches. Plan your visit to marvel at these trees today here.
For those who don’t have the opportunity to plant a tree, there are plenty of other ways to get involved in National Tree Week. People can celebrate trees by contributing a tree story or memory towards the Charter for Trees, Woods and People, which launches in November 2017. You can also ‘dress’ a favourite local tree during Tree Dressing Day on Saturday 2 December. Visit www.treecouncil.org.uk for more information.