Scaled up efforts for rewilding project

Lerwick Port Authority has scaled up its annual tree planting efforts to compensate for the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact which forced suspension of the initiative in 2020.

Around 70 trees and shrubs donated by the Authority have been planted (Tuesday 25 May) at Holmsgarth Road by pupils from the local Bell’s Brae Primary School, currently involved in a “Living Things” project.

The Authority had participated since 2017 in planting around 20 trees annually, within the grounds of Bell’s Brae and new Anderson High School. This week, the primary pupils moved on to rewilding an unused area of the port estate.

Stuart Wadley, the Authority’s HSEQ Manager, commented: “With no planting last year because of Covid, we’ve upped the number of trees and shrubs donated. It is an excellent, environmentally-friendly way for us to more-than-offset our usage of paper – usually the equivalent of 12 trees annually.

“There are other benefits, including it’s good for carbon capture, will encourage wildlife in a barren, grassed area, and reduce grass cutting and so use of fossil fuels.”

Excited to support the project, the Bell’s Brae pupils know the benefits of tree planting and hope it will help the local environment, adding: "Trees store carbon dioxide and help us to have cleaner air which is good for animals and us."

Most of the species planted are hardy and include native varieties that thrive in the Shetland climate, creating an attractive wooded habitat on the town’s outskirts, which will encourage pollinating bees and insects.

The trees have been provided by the Shetland Amenity Trust and their Woodlands Team provided advice and support for the planting as part of their conservation and cultivation programme in the islands.

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