The Woodland Trust helped to plant nearly 1,000 trees on the banks of Scotland’s River Dee last week (April 23– 27).

The trees were donated to local conservation groups the Dee Catchment Partnership and the River Dee Trust, who planted the saplings alongside 30 volunteers from Sainsbury’s Garthdee as part of Responsible Business Week. Woodland Trust woodland creation adviser Russ Jobson was also on hand to provide some planting advice.

An area of just under a hectare was selected for planting, having been cleared of invasive species in preparation. The new trees will help to restore the riverbanks, providing valuable habitat for wildlife, as well as protection against flooding. A selection of native species was planted, including oak, alder, willow, hawthorn, Scots pine and wild cherry (also known as gean).

Responsible Business Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates the brighter side of corporate life by sharing responsible business stories.

Volunteers hard at work planting.

A long-standing partnership

David Vass, manager of Sainsbury’s Garthdee, said: “Sainsbury’s Garthdee was delighted to be a part of this national campaign that encourages businesses to work alongside the local community. We have a long-standing partnership with the Woodland Trust supporting woodland expansion, so were very happy to encourage staff to get out and get planting right here on our doorstep. We are extremely grateful to the Woodland Trust for donating all the trees and especially to Russ Jobson for his vital planting advice on the day.”

The event was a great example of collaboration between conservation groups and business.

Marina Piper, outreach officer for the Dee Catchment Partnership, added: “We had a wonderful day. Not only did we manage to plant almost 1,000 trees, the response from the volunteers was just heart-warming – some of them said they didn’t know this walk was right here on their doorstep, others enjoyed the simple satisfaction of planting a tree for the first time, and another said the experience had been truly inspiring. I’m really proud of all our efforts and would like to thank everyone involved.”

As the Woodland Trust’s largest partner, Sainsbury’s has donated more than £7 million to our cause since 2004, helping us to plant more than three million trees across the UK.


Scouts get planting

Last week also saw the Trust donate trees to a community planting event further along the Dee at the Duchrie Burn in Glen Gairn, near Ballater. Organised by the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board & River Dee Trust alongside local residents Iwan and Manuela Wirth, the planting day saw 45 local volunteers, whose ages ranged from 8 to 80 years, put trees in the ground.

These volunteers included an amazing squad from Aboyne 1st Scouts, who helped create over 2 km of bankside tree cover. This will help to restore the riverbank for future generations, with trees providing shade, food and shelter, allowing fish and other wildlife to thrive. This is part of an ambitious programme to restore the River Dee and its tributaries for the benefit of the whole community.

The scouts made a great contribution to the planting day.