4 Jan 2021

‘Plant a Tree’ at Glenlude

Trust volunteer and supporter Peter Coutts reports on a satisfying close to 2020

Plant a Tree at Glenlude - Peter Coutts

For the past four years I’ve been volunteering at the Trust’s smallest property in the Scottish Borders – Glenlude. We are helping the team gradually replace the existing Sitka spruce and larch, planted by the Forestry Commission nearly 30 years ago, with native broadleaved trees. These trees are grown from seed collected locally and propagated in the tree nursery established at Glenlude.

It has been very interesting to be involved in the various stages of forestry practice from collecting seed, to sowing in seed trays, to pricking out into root trainers, to planting out and maintaining the young trees as required.

I saw the John Muir Trust's Plant a Tree scheme as an ideal way for me to support the Trust and at the same time to give my wider family a personal interest in the wild land charity and Glenlude in particular. Karen Purvis, Property Manager at Glenlude, gave me a list of trees species which were ready for planting out, so I opted for three each of downy birch and rowan and two each of sessile oak, hazel and alder.

On the last volunteer day of the year Karen selected an area for planting on a north-facing slope to the north of the existing spruce plantation. Duly protected by tree tubes, mesh and tree stakes, the trees are well placed for the start of the growing season and to make their contribution to the ever-expanding native broadleaved trees planted at Glenlude.

With a grid reference for the planted trees, other members of my family are looking forward to visiting the trees when travel restrictions allow. This was a very satisfying way to end what has been a difficult year for all.

Thank you, Karen and the John Muir Trust!

Spring woodland

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