Scottish Native Woodland created by UPM Tilhill as part of major Jubilee project

Archive 18.1.2013 18:00 EET

​(UPM Tilhill, Hermitage Valley, Scotland, January 18, 2012) – Staff from UPM Tilhill’s Jedburgh office are involved in one of the biggest native woodland planting schemes in the UK.

At the end of the project, around 440,000 trees will have been planted at Gorrenberry Farm in the Hermitage Valley in the Scottish Southern Uplands.

Sixty hectares of woodland have been planted so far with another 300 to be completed in Spring 2013 – creating Gorrenberry Jubilee Wood. Gorrenberry is an ecological restoration project which aims to return much of the biodiversity to the area, while maintaining a varied pattern of economic activity at a sustainable level.

As well as managing the planting, UPM Tilhill helped the farm’s current owner Jane Bower to purchase the property and then worked on her behalf to apply for a grant from the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP).

UPM Tilhill District Manager Martin Craig said: “There was a huge amount of work involved before we got to the actual planting stage.  It took around 16 months and involved numerous surveys. The planting of the site has also been challenging with a team of 50 people mostly planting by hand, especially on the areas that were steep and inaccessible by vehicle.” 

Martin Craig was assisted by UPM Tilhill colleagues including Forest Ecologist John Gallacher and Foresters Lindsay Greer and Duncan Scott.  The grant application was supported by an archaeology survey, landscape appraisal, breeding bird survey, otter survey, vegetation and peat-depth survey, ecological site classification, and an assessment of the impact on the Hen Harriers on the neighbouring Langholm Moor. The plan proposed leaving the deep peat, marshy areas and space around badger setts unplanted, as required by environmental regulations, while allowing sensitive landscaping of the plantings.

It was important to the owner for all of the organisations involved to engage with the local community, so schoolchildren from Newcastleton and Langholm joined staff from UPM Tilhill and the Woodland Trust Scotland to help plant 200 of the oak and birch trees.

Gorrenberry Farm’s owner Jane Bower said: “It’s great that the local schools helped us restore some of the wildwood which once covered this area. I hope they will come back over the years to enjoy the woods as they grow, and watch the birds and animals which will make their homes here.

“One day the trees we are planting will provide fuel and construction timber for the people of the valley, as well as shelter for wildlife. The trees will catch the rain and by slowing the flow they will reduce flooding. This will allow the eggs of the salmon and sea trout which spawn here to hatch and develop. As time passes, the burns and the woods will become more productive as well as more beautiful.”

Because Gorrenberry Jubilee Wood is such a large planting scheme, it was also designated by the Woodland Trust Scotland as one of 25 Princess Woods - each representing a year of the Queen’s life before she came to the throne.

The Woodland Trust offered people a chance to be at the heart the Queen's 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations by planting trees. The Jubilee Woods project aims to plant six million trees to celebrate The Queen’s reign. www.jubileewoods.org.uk

UPM Tilhill, established more than 60 years ago, is a national company operating from a network of offices throughout the UK.  UPM Tilhill is now the UK’s largest timber harvesting and forest management company. The company provides a full range of consultancy and contracting services to the forest owner and forestry investor.  Further information is available at www.upm-tilhill.com

Further information contact Suzi Christie PR Consultant for UPM Tilhill on 01435 830031 or e-mail suzi@blueberry-pr.co.uk

UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials. The Group employs around 24,000 people and it has production plants in 17 countries. UPM's annual sales exceed EUR 10 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki stock exchange. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com

The Woodland Trust Scotland - The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has more than 500,000 members and supporters. The Trust has three key aims: a) to enable the creation of more native woods and places rich in trees b) to protect native woods, trees and their wildlife for the future c) to inspire everyone to enjoy and value woods and trees. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). In 1984, the Trust acquired its first wood in Scotland. Today the Trust owns 80 sites across Scotland covering 8,750 hectares.