Opening of newly extended tree nursery
Published: 06 April 2023
Today we opened the doors to our newly expanded tree nursery at Staney Hill, Lerwick and invited guests to learn more about how we are increasing production to meet growing demand for trees.
We have been operating a horticultural unit for nearly 30 years, nurturing native species, endemic plants and supporting tree planting schemes throughout Shetland. In recent years demand for trees has grown significantly and as a result the Trust has been working hard to increase production.
Shetland Amenity Trust works with Woodland Trust Scotland to support school tree planting projects and MOREwoods funding schemes for land managers and individuals. Over the past year, HIE Shetland have supported SAT to employ a Woodlands Graduate Placement to help expand operations. Funding has now been secured for the expansion project from the Woodlands Trust, the Forest Grant Scheme, and from the Shetland Community Benefit Fund with three new polycrubs and raised beds installed at the SAT horticultural unit at Staney Hill.
Chair of the Shetland Amenity Trust, Alison Moncrieff said: “People often think there are no trees in Shetland but our heritage and environmental evidence from soil surveys tells us otherwise. The trees we plant help to protect and enhance Shetland’s biodiversity and will help our islands to adapt to climate change. I am immensely proud of our work to protect and nurture native plants and trees and the expansion of our tree nursery is testament to this. I hope people will come along to find out more about what we do and the opportunities for tree planting in Shetland.”
On a recent visit to the tree nursery in Lerwick, Jonathan Hawick of Scottish Forestry said: “We are really pleased to see the growing level of interest in planting trees and this nursery has a crucial role to play in providing suitable, well adapted trees to folk in Shetland.
“The Trust is carrying out excellent work collecting seed, including from Shetland’s few remaining native trees and growing them on.”
Shetland native plants play an important role in our lives. They are a connection with our cultural history but mainly support a healthy environment by enhancing our biodiversity, as well as acting as a buffer against climate change. Protecting, preserving and restoring the various species and habitats that once were thriving in Shetland is the main goal of our conservation work.
If you would like to get involved with volunteering opportunities with our woodlands team please get in touch at email@example.com
Our thanks also go to the Scottish Government Forest Grant Scheme and the Woodlands Trust for their funding support for the expansion and in particular to the Shetland Community Benefit Fund and all those Community Councils who opted to support us through this fund. I would also like to thank the family at Kergord who have played host to an off-shoot of our tree nursery operations for many years.
As a result of the expansion we now hope to be able to meet the ever growing demand for tree planting projects in Shetland which we estimate has grown over 300% in the past few years. We have also now been able to take on a full-time member of staff (Georgia) in the team to help us meet demand and to grow the knowledge and skills within the team for the future.
Please take some time to explore the unit today, chat to the staff and find out more about our native trees and plants and maybe even take a peek at our famous Hazel tree. Thank you all for coming and for your continued support for our work. Next weekend (15th) we are running a tree planting demonstration day at the AHS in Lerwick so please come along and get involved.