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Forres Friends of Woods and Fields raising 200 trees for Cluny Hill as part of Queen’s Green Canopy


By Garry McCartney

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Friends Nick Molnar, Mick Drury and George Paul are helping grow trees for the community. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Friends Nick Molnar, Mick Drury and George Paul are helping grow trees for the community. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

AN environmental group is looking after nearly 200 trees to be planted on Cluny Hill as part of a UK-wide project.

Forres Friends of Woods and Fields (FFWF) are cultivating the silver birch, elder, crab apple, dog rose, blackthorn, rowan and wild cherry at a temporary nursery at their site between Sanquhar and Chapleton ahead of planting near Nelson’s Tower later in the year – the trees were obtained by Forres Community Council (FCC) via the Queen’s Green Canopy scheme ahead of the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Some of the saplings being grown between Chapleton and Sanquhar. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Some of the saplings being grown between Chapleton and Sanquhar. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

FFWF woodland project manager, Mick Drury, confirmed the saplings are around two years old.

He said: “We have created new beds and are looking after them until the autumn. This now mainly involves weeding and watering.”

The Queen’s Green Canopy is an initiative led by Cool Earth in partnership with the UK government and the Woodland Trust. Communities, charities, schools, scout groups, councils and landowners are creating a network of trees, tree avenues, copses and woodlands.

To help the environment and make local areas greener, people are being urged to plant to create a lasting legacy in honour of the Queen’s leadership.

“It’s a good partnership project,” said Mick. “Tree planting has to be a good thing in the right places. It’s great to get a wide range of folk involved but protecting our existing native and ancient woodlands is equally important.”

He added: “The local canopy project will be good to kick-start management work on Cluny Hill.”

Email forresfriends@gmail.com for more information or if you can help.

Cluny Hill’s woodland management plan, including tree works planned for an initial five years, is being put together by Huntly-based company Tilhill Forestry in partnership with Moray Council and Forres Green Spaces Group. This follows the findings of the 2015 public Spirit of Community meeting at Forres Town Hall and the Planning For Real 3D model events around the area in 2017, and the 2020 Vision Action Plan which revealed a desire to better manage Cluny Hill’s forest and walks.

FCC are sourcing stakes to support the young trees which already have guards to protect against deer.

Former FCC chairwoman Kathleen Robertson applied for the Queen’s Green Canopy trees for the beauty spot.

She said: “They will be planted in the autumn. Hopefully schools will be involved.”



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