Borders Forest Trust celebrates its 20th anniversary at the Scottish Parliament
BORDERS Forest Trust (www.bordersforesttrust.org) is an environmental charity formed in 1996 to develop and manage ambitious habitat restoration and community woodland projects.
Begins a spokesperson: “Over 99 per cent of our native woodlands have been lost in the Scottish Borders and BFT was formed in response to public enthusiasm for restoring these woodlands and wild places.
“Over the last 20 years, Borders Forest Trust has planted around 1,000,000 native trees and shrubs on its own land and a similar number in co-operation with local landowners.
“BFT has helped thousands of people of all ages, through its volunteering and education programmes, to understand and appreciate their local natural environment.”
The charity recently marked its 20th anniversary with a reception at the Scottish Parliament, hosted by Jim Hume MSP.
The evening offered Borders Forest Trust the chance to celebrate with valued friends, supporters and partners the organisation’s significant achievements to date and also to look to the future and the continuing aim of Reviving the Wildheart of Southern Scotland.
Jim Hume MSP stated in his speech: “Like trees that grow and grow, Borders Forest Trust set seed 20 years ago and has grown and grown.”
From humble beginnings, the charity has grown considerably.
Amongst the properties owned across the Borders and beyond are three significant and remarkable sites in the Southern Uplands, known as the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland.
In keeping with their ethos of people and woodlands belong together, Borders Forest Trust has set about Reviving the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland, through demonstrating excellence in ecological restoration of their own properties, and through partnerships encouraging the development of woodland culture, enabling people to access woodlands, developing habitats and supporting environmentally sustainable economic activity.
Inspirational speeches delivered by guest speakers highlighted the ongoing and very real need for BFT’s work and also the true value of the partnerships which have been created over the last 20 years.
Dr Aileen McLeod MSP and Minister for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform, said: “Borders Forest Trust is a grassroots charity working with local communities and many other partners across Southern Scotland.
“Borders Forest Trust is quite unique… yes, the Trust is about trees and, equally importantly, it’s about people who engage with woodlands at many levels.”
Dr McLeod also used her speech to announce funding for Borders Forest Trust to assist in the continuation and development of the Charity’ work.
Beccy Speight, CEO Woodland Trust, stated: “BFT is a vital partner for Woodland Trust Scotland in delivering our vision for a UK rich in native woods and trees, for people and wildlife – and there is much work still to be done in the Borders to achieve this.
“We both enjoy and value the partnership with BFT and look forward to it strengthening further in the years to come.”
Borders Forest Trust carries out a wide variety of work with people and communities.
By offering diverse experiences from volunteering to therapeutic activities to school programmes and the learning of traditional skills, BFT enables people of different ages, skills and backgrounds to get outside and feel part of the woodlands.
BFT’s work is supported by members and supporters from near and far and from all walks of life.
The charity is always seeking new members to help continue its valuable work.
For more information on how you can get involved, please visit the website www.bordersforesttrust.org.
For more information please email Sue Hope – firstname.lastname@example.org
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