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Planting up the river banks

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By Fiona Reid
Moffat
Planting up the river banks

TREE planting sessions have been successfully held along the banks of the River Annan in Upper Annandale.

The Restoring Annan Water (RAW) group organised the mass planting of 400 native trees at Oakriggside, Reddings, Gardenholm and Meikleholmside Farm.

And Meikleholmside was ‘particularly challenging’ as the river bank there is very rocky but the planters still managed to get 140 trees into the ground, including willows, aspen, bird cherry and downy birch. Steve and Sarah Burchell have been farming sheep there for over 20 years and Sarah is well known locally as one of the organisers of the Moffat Farmers’ Market.

Explaining more about the initiative, group spokeswoman Norma Fears said: “RAW’s aim in planting native trees on the river bank is to bring benefits to both people and wildlife in the Annandale area.

“There are so many important reasons for tree planting – it is difficult to know where to begin! Trees provide shade, keeping the river cool and there is uptake of water from the soil by the trees which can reduce flooding. Trees also play a vital role in the river food cycle. The leaves and wood debris provide food for the river flies, such as Stonefly Gammarus and Caddis Fly which are then eaten by salmon and trout. RAW will be monitoring the river fly invertebrates on a monthly basis.”

RAW is grateful to the South of Scotland Tree Planting Scheme administered by the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership and aims to plant more trees using this scheme at the end of the year.

They want to hear from anyone who thinks their stretch of the river bank, large or small, would benefit from more trees and can be contacted at [email protected] or by calling 07802 469 827.

*Pictured above, Norma and Sarah with some of the trees

Dumfries and West

24th May

Lifesavers

By Fiona Reid | DNG24