Hedge Planting at Hopes Estate with the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust and Woodland Trust

Today twenty three adventurous and industrious children set off from Belhaven Hill to plant trees high in the Lammermuirs.

We travelled to Hopes Estate in the hills above Gifford where we met its owner, and keen tree planter, Mr Robbie Douglas Miller. Mr Douglas Miller explained the importance of growing trees and highlighted the need to do it now.

"In just twenty years a young hawthorn tree could be twice the size of the largest person at school!" Mr Douglas Miller explained.

We planted a mixed-species strip of hawthorn, dogrose, hazel, crab apple and blackthorn along an existing fenceline nearly 200 metres long.  By planting the trees as a loose hedge we hoped to maximise the benefit of our work to the widest range of game and wildlife species.

“It was wonderful to see so many enthusiastic and interested Belhaven children out at The Hopes helping to create a new wildlife sanctuary. In 3 hrs the team planted nearly 500 new shrubs creating a 175m long and 5m wide “wild” hedge. In a few years’ time it will provide cover, food and nesting space for a variety of songbirds and look fabulous. The children who took part should be proud of their achievement.” Mr Douglas Miller continued.

The trees will shelter small birds and animals from the weather and predators, the fruit will feed them through the Summer and Autumn and the branches will support the nests of songbirds. The wildlife value of a mature hedge is massive. The educational and moral lessons that can be gained froma day in the hills planting trees is simply enormous.

Below are some pictures from the day:

Click on this link for more photos from a wonderful day in the hills!

Well done to all involved!