A team of volunteer horticulturists have been hard at work planting trees for Blackwood Estate Community Association

​A team of volunteer horticulturists under the guidance of Willie Murphy, an instructor from Clydesdale Community Initiatives have been hard at work planting trees.
The horticultural volunteer team from CCI have been helping out planting trees.The horticultural volunteer team from CCI have been helping out planting trees.
The horticultural volunteer team from CCI have been helping out planting trees.

​The group of individuals who are supported while working in the community, have a variety of health, disability and social circumstances, but in attending the social enterprise are given the opportunity to give back to local communities.

Most recently, Blackwood Estate Community Association have been the recipients of their hard work and efforts which has resulted in 950 trees being planted by volunteers from both organisations.

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The project is part of an ambitious local plan led by BECA to make 67 acres of ancient woodland (known as Loch Wood), brought into community ownership in 2021 more accessible to the Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill community.

The project has safeguarded an environmentally and historically significant ancient woodland and aims to enhance its biodiversity and help mitigate climate change. With support from CCI, the group have built new paths, installed bridges, cleared invasive species and removed mountains of rubbish that had been dumped in the burn over the years.

Over two days, this Spring 20 volunteers, including young people from the Kear Campus, planted the native broadleaf trees, which had been donated by The Conservation Volunteers, including birch, hazel, oak, rowan and hawthorn which will massively improve the biodiversity of the site and encourage birds and pollinators into the area.

The volunteers worked through the mud, wind and rain but managed to get all the trees planted over two days. CCI group leader Willie Murphy provided training and encouragement for the volunteers, most of whom had no previous experience of this type of work. Vicki Connick, treasurer of BECA, made the day extra special by providing volunteers with delicious lemon drizzle cake which the volunteers managed to eat whilst avoiding the rain!

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If you live in Blackwood, Kirkmuirhill or Boghead and would like to take part in future volunteering sessions at the Blackwood Estate site, please contact [email protected] or call us on 01555 644211 and ask for Ruth.