volunteers enhancing 'vital' woodland in fife

Volunteers work with Greenbelt and Wildlife Trust Scotland in enhancing woodland at Glenrothes, Fife that is 'vital' to the urban landscape.

Greenbelt is managing the 213 hectares of woodland on behalf of the Trust, working in partnership with local landscape consultants Mark Hamilton and Andy Hines.

the 68 blocks of woodland are valued for their wildlife habitat, free public access and their important role in the landscape of the town

the 40,000 local residents use the 21 km of woodland paths daily for walking, cycling and horse riding, as well as for getting to and from local shops and places of work

many of the woodland blocks share boundaries with housing and busy public roads, and have a key role in the landscaping of the town

The Forestry Commission has approved an award under the Scottish Forestry Grant Scheme for work on thinning areas of the woodland. Greenbelt also plans to:

  • fell and re-plant other areas of the woodland
  • re-build and upgrade footpaths
  • install new signage
  • improve access, including 3 new 'kissing gates'

Greenbelt worked recently with Fife Ranger Service and Fife Coast and Countryside Trust in organising the volunteer event, 'Countryside On Your Doorstep'.*.

Around 100 volunteers were involved in:

  • clearing invasive rhododendron and laurel
  • planting native trees and flower bulbs
  • mapping and monitoring the 150 bird and bat boxes made by pupils at 10 local schools

Tim Hall, the Trust's Woodland Operations Manager, says: "These woods are vital in the urban environment.

"They are the only areas for wildlife habitat and they are also enormously valuable in terms of what they contribute to the town.

"Trees and woodland are not only visually important, they absorb noise and pollution, they offer privacy in a crowded urban setting, and they improve people's health and quality of life generally."

Beverley Burnside, Greenbelt's Regional Lands Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, says: "Greenbelt has responsibility for maintaining the open space, but we welcome the involvement of volunteers and local school pupils in building a sense of shared community ownership of the woodlands."