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600 trees added to Dingwall Community Woodland in a day as Academy kids pitch in to 'fantastic' effort


By Hector MacKenzie

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PUPILS from a Ross-shire secondary school pitched in to help an exciting community tree-planting project branch out.

Over 7000 new native trees, mainly oak and birch, are set to create the new woodland located in fields behind the town’s Macrae Crescent.

Pupils from Dingwall Academy rolled up thedir sleeves and helped with the penultimate tree-planting session. Picture: Dingwall Community Woodland
Pupils from Dingwall Academy rolled up thedir sleeves and helped with the penultimate tree-planting session. Picture: Dingwall Community Woodland

The woodland will be the size of around five large football fields and will contain open ground and a path network to encourage recreation.

Dingwall Community Woodland said yesterday: "600 trees in today with the help of the fantastic group of Dingwall Academy pupils. Thanks to all those who joined!"

The idea of the community woodland came from local farmer and land management consultant Richard Lockett of Knockbain Farm, with the Dingwall Community Woodland Group being set up to manage the project.

Scottish Forestry has awarded £30,000 towards the planting through their Forestry Grants Scheme, with a further £3000 going to the community group to help them mobilise interest their volunteer planting initiatives.

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Richard Lockett said: “It really is fantastic to see all this hard work now coming to fruition. The enthusiasm and energy of the local community has been brilliant.

“We have been planting trees and hedges on Knockbain for some time now as there are so many benefits for nature, livestock shelter, climate change, and of course for people.

“The field being used for the woodland is right next to the town of Dingwall and not crucial to the farm business so when we thought about planting it up with native trees we really wanted the community to be at the heart of it all."

Josie Fraser of Dingwall Community Woodland said: "We are so excited to be planting the woodland this winter.

“We want the woodland to be a great natural asset for the community and are currently seeking planning permission and funding for a small network of paths. This will allow everyone to access and enjoy this new woodland and see it grow over time.

“We have lots of other ideas and in the longer-term hope to take ownership and manage the woodland on behalf of the community. We have had fantastic support local people, from Richard and Scottish Forestry.”


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