Home   News   Article

PICTURES: Strathpeffer community hub vision branches out with planting of 150 trees as orchard takes shape

By Hector MacKenzie

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Lots of local children pitched in with the tree planting effort at Strathpeffer.
Lots of local children pitched in with the tree planting effort at Strathpeffer.

A VILLAGE vision for a community hub play park, orchard and cycle area has branched out with the planting of around 150 trees.

Strathpeffer Residents Association is working to bring an area of land into fruitful use for the community and has already made great strides since first hatching the plan.

Chairman Dave Genney said: “We were fortunate enough to be awarded two native tree packs this year to expand our little woodland. The first pack, from the Woodland Trust, part of their Big Climate Fightback initiative, contained over 100 trees from the Edible Hedge pack (crabapple, wild cherry, hazel, rowan, elder, dogrose and blackthorn).

“The second pack of 50 trees came from the Trust for Conservation Volunteers via their I Dig Trees programme (field maple, birch, rowan, wild cherry, willow).

“With so many trees we needed lots of willing helpers and we weren’t disappointed. The first session was by the Fairburn Cubs, and to make things more exciting, it was by torchlight to coincide with their regular evening meeting.

“They did a brilliant job with every tree the right way up when checked the next morning! The second session was led by the industrious P5 class from Strathpeffer Primary School. They all took great pride in planting, staking and protecting the saplings. The remaining trees have been planted by other volunteers from across our community, helped by some lovely sunny days. Thank you to everyone involved.”

He said they were very knowledgeable about why trees are important to help fight climate change, how they will become home to many native species, clean our air and provide both us and wildlife with fruits and nuts long into the future.

“We hope they will take pride when they return to see the fully grown trees, perhaps with their own children, one day,” Mr Genney said.

A £50,560 grant from the Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh area committee – awarded under the Scottish Government’s Place-Based Investment Programme (PBIP) – has paved the way for the creation of a network of safe and secure paths across the site on the edge of the village.

Volunteers earlier installed an equipment shed, thanks to support from its local wind farm fund, and are now looking to developing the community orchard with £2500 help from Highland Council’s Nature Restoration Fund.

They have cleared years’ worth of rubbish, started building a bike track and installed some temporary play features with donations of tractor tyres from Dingwall Tyres and logs from the local forestry depot.

Mr Genney said: “A high-quality green space is such an important asset for any community and we’re taking great pride in ours.”

Story or picture to share with us? Get in touch by emailing newsdesk@hnmedia.co.uk

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More