6 Oct 2020

Trees donated to revive community woodland

300 young trees have been donated to the East Kilbride Community Trust after their popular community woodland was trashed by vandals.
Volunteers were left devastated as all the hard work that had gone into K-Woodlands had been ripped up overnight early in June.

Trees were destroyed along with wooden frames and stakes were thrown in a pond created for wildlife.

Scottish Forestry has been supporting the woodland over the past years and took action to help. They contacted Confor, the trade forestry body, who in turn put a call out to their members for trees.

Alba Trees, Scotland’s largest tree nursery, which specialises in growing native trees, came to the rescue and donated 300 broadleaves to help breathe new life into K- Woodlands.

Dave Signorini, CEO of Scottish Forestry said:

“I was really disappointed when I read about the vandalism. I had visited K-Woodlands earlier in the year so I knew how hard everyone had worked to make the community woodland a special place.

“Everyone involved in K-Woodlands is so enthusiastic and I am sure that the set back is now well and truly put behind them. We were happy to help and it’s brilliant news that Alba Trees’ donation will help transform the woodland again.”

Alba Trees is based in East Lothian and produces over 20 million trees a year for forest owners all over the UK. They were delighted to help out and have picked some of their finest trees for the community woodland.

Craig Turner, Chief Executive from Alba Trees said:

“It was very sad to hear about the vandalism of the new trees planted by volunteers in East Kilbride. We were delighted to be able to help by replacing the trees and tree guards for the K-Woodlands community group.

“Projects like this are really important – planting new woodlands creates wonderful community areas for the future and also helps to combat the effects of climate change. More and more people are recognising the benefits of tree planting and it’s very encouraging to see so many new areas of woodland being created across Scotland.“

Currently, K-Woodlands has two members of staff who are dedicated to creating the 17 hectare site into a community woodland. The rest of the help is all made up by volunteers.

Prior to lockdown, K-Woodlands was used regularly by schools and community organisations, including those who help people with special needs.

Jane McArdle, Community Woodland Engagement Officer with East Kilbride Community Trust said she was delighted that the trees were donated and sees it as another turning point for the woodland to thrive:

“We are so appreciative and thankful of the generosity that had been shown towards the charity. We’re grateful for the ongoing support from Scottish Forestry, they truly are an organisation with community at its heart and because of this, a wonderful new partnership has developed with Alba Trees that can only further enhance our beautiful community woodland.”

South Lanarkshire College, located close to K-Woodlands, has begun partnership working with the community woodland and were delighted to involve their horticulture department with planting the new trees.

The tree planting event was undertaken as part of their student’s course, demonstrating the natural symbiotic relationship between the charity and college.