FORESTRY

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COMPLETING THE CIRCLE: Replanting Fathill East 2023

The task this year
We will be planting 6000 broadleaved trees, of a good range of native species- oak, birch, alder, rowan, crab-apple and wild cherry as well as more shrubby species- hazel, hawthorn, yew and holly. We will be planting the young trees by hand, staking and tying and protecting them with forestry shelters. This is the first of three parcels of woodland to be replanted over the next few years.

Donate a Tree
The whole replanting of the shelter belt has only been possible, over the years, through the generous donation of people’s time and energy. If you are unable to join the planting project this Spring, you can still help by ‘sponsoring a tree’ at a cost of £3.00 per tree which just covers the cost of the tree seedling, stake and shelter.


History
John Hill our garden and estate adviser writes:
The calm and gentle setting of Chisholme House, its lawns and gardens is only possible because of the encircling ring of sheltering woodland that surrounds the whole estate.

When Chisholme was acquired in 1975, most of this surrounding shelter belt of mainly mature hardwoods was still intact, but was owned by a local Forestry Company and not part of the Chisholme Estate. In the 1980’s this company started to clear-fell the trees, but in 1986 agreed to sell us the land after the mature trees had been felled or where there was younger standing woodland.

Graham Falvey, who was looking after the Estate and Garden at the time, invited friends of Chisholme to contribute to buying these areas of land, and so we acquired this invaluable setting for the jewel of Chisholme, though much of it by then sadly denuded of its original tree cover.

Graham, with some help, valiantly started to replant the clear-felled areas, starting with the Front Clearfell, which stands below the front gate and entrance drive. But there were a lot of trees to plant, and a big boost came in the late 90’s, when grant-aid from the Millennium Forest for Scotland allowed a major replanting over two seasons- 1998 and 1999. During this period, 17,000 trees were planted by over 100 friends and volunteers, covering the exposed, north-facing slopes of Woodcock North, Brae and Fathill West, set above the Borthwick Water, as well as the more placid environments of Whitrig and Churnton at the eastern end of the Chisholme Estate. These two Spring planting events, which I’m sure many people will remember with a warm(?) nostalgia, initiated the annual Forestry Fortnight programme which continued each Spring at Chisholme for many years.

Since then, several areas which were acquired in 1986 as standing commercial conifer plantations have matured and been replanted - particularly the replanting of Meadburn in 2012 under Ben Young’s guidance.

This year, with the help of Storm Arwen and friends, Fathill East, a Sitka spruce plantation, has been clear felled and left ready for replanting. This is the last piece of the jigsaw and will complete the replanting of the whole shelter belt ring around the heartland of Chisholme.

Fathill East, an area of 3.7ha is immediately next to areas planted in the first Forestry Fortnight in 1998, a wonderful spot, with views overlooking the whole of the Borthwick valley.

For more information please contact secretary@chisholme.org

Image credit: Mark Boston

 
 

Sat 2nd March 2024 19:00 to
Sat 16th March 2024 19:00

Volunteer for tree planting and estate work

 

Fri 29th March 2024 19:00 to
Sat 6th April 2024 19:00

An introduction

 

Sat 13th April 2024 19:00 to
Sat 27th April 2024 19:00

Volunteer in the Kitchen Garden

 

Sat 18th May 2024 19:00 to
Sat 25th May 2024 19:00

Volunteer in the Kitchen Garden

 

Fri 24th May 2024 19:00 to
Mon 27th May 2024 19:00

An introduction

 

A visual taste and some of the music from the September 2023 Gathering at Chisholme