Supported by The Tree Council, prominent UK investment house M&G teamed up with West Lothian Council to replant trees in the historic Almondell & Calderwood Country Park.
Early on Friday 1 April, a team of volunteers from M&G, one of the UK’s largest and longest established investment houses, arrived at the Almondell & Calderwood Country Park Visitor Centre where they were welcomed by West Lothian Council Countryside Ranger Bronwen Winter.
Located between North Broxburn and East Calder, Almondell & Calderwood Country Park was created in 1971 by bringing the former Almondell Estate grounds and the nearby Calderwood together. The 88-hectare Country Park offers enchanting woodland and riverside walks known for their displays of snowdrops, daffodils, azalea and rhododendron.
Planting was focused on the Larch Wood, the long, narrow corridor that runs along the boundary of the country park. Many of the mature, non-native larch trees here have had to be removed, having grown so tall that they became vulnerable to storm damage. The trees had also suffered from outbreaks of Phytophthera ramorum, a fatal fungal disease.
Over the course of the morning, M&G volunteers planted an impressive 300 whips, before mulching and watering them.
M&G Plc generously granted £23,000 towards the restoration of the parkland through its tree planting partner, The Tree Council. The Tree Council is the UK’s oldest tree charity and has been working in partnership with Local Authorities in Scotland to promote, protect and restore trees lost to historic landscapes for many years.
As Sara Lom, CEO of The Tree Council, pointed out: “Not only are these – and all – woodlands essential to the fight against climate change and species loss, but they are also crucial to our sense of heritage. Many of the trees on the Almondell estate were planted more than 230 years ago, and the grounds hold a very special place in the hearts of those who live both in the area and further afield. The Tree Council is delighted to support M&G and West Lothian Council to help restore this wonderful country park. We are dedicated to our work with Scotland’s Local Authorities, helping to ensure that the country’s incredible treescape endures and continues to provide vital carbon-storing, biodiversity-sustaining and well-being enhancing services well into the future.”