Autumn beauty in Glenrothes Woodlands

If you go down to the woods today . . .

Trees are not only beautiful and vital for the planet, from the earliest times they have been the focus of community life for many peoples around the world.

Today, as stewards of green spaces across the UK, Greenbelt tends to thousands of trees that form a natural, wonderful backdrop to residential developments.

One of our favourite examples is at Glenrothes Woodlands, a sprawl of wooded areas in and around the town of the same name.

This is a unique site, comprising 68 separate 'compartments' of woodland and making up an astonishing total of 213 hectares (or 2.13 million square metres).

Greenbelt has been proud to look after the Glenrothes Woodlands since first taking over management of the site in 2004.

Greenbelt's task force use a schedule of rolling maintenance that allows them to keep the vast area of woodlands under control, week by week, section by section, without using up a large amount of resources.

"The maintenance carried out on the Glenrothes Woodland is highly sustainable," says Gerry Gillespie, Greenbelt's very own expert arboriculturist.

"For example, we only undertake tree-felling where there is a risk of collapse that endangers the public.

"The nature of our work means we can keep the Woodland replenished and healthy."

Unlike a traditional green space site - where the costs of works done are divided equally among bill-paying households on-site - Greenbelt manages this land guided by a woodland management plan agreed with the Woodland Trust.

Greenbelt began leasing the woodlands in 2002 and, under the terms of the 175-year agreement, Greenbelt review and update the Management Plan every 10 years.

This is now guaranteed to be in place until at least 2022 - all at absolutely no cost to households in Glenrothes!

Barking up the right tree

In September 2015 the Forestry Commission Scotland carried out an independent aerial survey, followed by on-foot surveys and confirmed there were no trees showing any signs of disease.

Did you know?

An area the size of Glenrothes Woodlands can remove an estimated 376 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually.

It also provides enough oxygen to sustain more than 60,000 people every day.

It has a water uptake of 151.9 million gallons every year, and intercepts a further 110.9 million gallons annually - meaning that it contributes very meaningfully to flood prevention.

This is great for the planet, great for people - it's also great for improving local property values and insurance costs.

As a general rule, mature trees tend to increase nearby property values by 4-7%.

Why not see for yourself?

There are many added benefits of having a managed woodland on your doorstep. Youngsters young and old, families, couples, grandparents, parents . . . everyone loves a walk in the woods.

There's no better time to visit Glenrothes Woodlands than Autumn.

In addition to the wonderful autumnal colours of the woods themselves, Greenbelt also maintains a range of paths, bridges, steps, stiles and seats.

The woodland contains an array of age classes, from young broadleaf areas to mature coniferous compartments that predate the 1948 formation of the town of Glenrothes itself.

All of this natural beauty and managed walks offer residents a diversity of physical textures and tones in their wildlife habitats, amenity areas and recreational sections.

Useful links for visiting Glenrothes Woodland: