Home   News   Article

Council celebrates World Earth Day with tree planting in Wick and Thurso

By David G Scott

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

Highland Council’s workforce has been working to improve biodiversity in Caithness by embarking on ambitious tree-planting projects in Wick and Thurso.

One element of the local authority’s response to the ecological and climate emergency, declared in 2019, involved an action for the teams to identify and implement biodiversity enhancements on council-owned land across Highland.

A council spokesperson said: “And what better day to highlight the council’s ongoing commitment to biodiversity than today [April 22], World Earth Day or International Mother Earth Day, which provides an opportunity to raise global public awareness of the challenges to the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.”

Bignold Park in Wick has a variety of trees planted including alder, silver birch, hazel, rowan, aspen and pedunculate oak.
Bignold Park in Wick has a variety of trees planted including alder, silver birch, hazel, rowan, aspen and pedunculate oak.

During the 2023/24 winter planting season, the council’s Greenspace Officer has been managing several planting events across the region, resulting in the planting of 2700 trees.

These include:

• Wellington Road Park, Wick (576 native hedgerow)

• Bignold Park, Wick (336 native trees)

• Road operations depot, Thurso (540 native trees)

The species which have been planted include alder, silver birch, hazel, rowan, aspen, pedunculate oak, white poplar, cherry, oak, golden and goat willow, beech, apple, plum, and pear.

The above examples are just part of the first phase of the planting project, with more plans already in place for the 24/25 winter planting season.

As well as the success of the ongoing planting projects the environment team has been working closely with the amenities team on greenspace management practices and how these can be optimised to ensure set-aside areas are as nature-friendly as possible.

Chair of Highland Council’s communities and place committee, Cllr Graham MacKenzie, said: “I am delighted to hear about the amazing progress being made by these teams, and it is so heartening to see the growth of biodiversity-positive initiatives like the tree planting project.

“It is also encouraging to hear about the team’s collaborative discussions with the Amenities team on how best to manage Council-owned land for the promotion of wildlife and flora.”

The teams are working on a host of other biodiversity initiatives, which it hopes will lead to the creation of a Highland Nature Network.

Environment team leader, Andrew Puls, said: “Ultimately we would like to create a network of biodiverse greenspace sites which will provide nature steppingstones and connections through our towns and villages, to the more rural, biodiverse land.”

NatureScot’s chief executive, Francesca Osowska said: “Nature loss and climate change are two of the biggest threats facing Scotland, so it is vital we work to restore nature at scale and at pace across the country.

“Highland Council’s tree planting projects are an important contribution to this national effort, and we congratulate the teams who have undertaken this valuable work.”

She added: “We very much support the ambition of a Highland Nature Network, which would bring many benefits for people and wildlife across the region.”

Further information about the work of the team and the projects it is managing will be available soon within a dedicated section of the Highland Council’s website.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More