Get involved in woodland project

PEOPLE in the East Dunbartonshire and Stirling areas are urged to get involved in the development of new woodlands for their local communities.

The call comes followingn the appointment of Eilidh Spence as a dedicated Woodland Learning and Community Officer for Lang Craigs and Kilpatrick Hills.

Jointly funded by Forestry Commission Scotland and the Woodland Trust, the new post will see Eilidh deliver a programme of outdoor learning and community engagement across Lang Craigs and the Kilpatrick Hills.

The post will liaise closely with Stirling and East Dunbartonshire councils.

Lang Craigs in West Dunbartonshire is 241 hectares of sheltered glen, rolling hills and open moorland that offer majestic views over the Clyde, Ben Lomond and Dumbarton Rock.

The Woodland Trust Scotland is planting 200,000 trees to create a thriving native woodland for the benefit of local people and wildlife.

Ms Spence said: “This is a great opportunity to engage with local communities around Lang Craigs and the Kilpatrick Hills, two very impressive and inspiring sites close to one of the biggest population centres in Scotland. Encouraging more people to visit and enjoy the variety of habitats, views and experiences on offer will hopefully inspire more frequent trips to these wonderful sites.

“By organising educational visits from local schools, we aim to encourage more schools to use their local woodlands as outdoor classrooms and provide new learning opportunities and experiences for local children. This should inspire them to venture into the outdoors and enjoy spending more time in natural environments.”

Since arriving in post, Eilidh has already organised three weeks of tree planting sessions with over 600 local school children at Lang Craigs and is planning another seven weeks of planting in 2013 and 2014.

Schools will be able to book a session to plant and there will be opportunities for teachers and educators to receive free training and resources to encourage woodland learning.

This year there will be spring and autumn community days at Lang Craigs including opportunities for local people to plant trees and find out more about the site.

To find out more about ways to get involved, please contact Eilidh Spence. Email eilidh.spence@forestry.gsi.gov.uk