Dalbeattie pupils champion birch for national tree of Scotland

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Pupils from Dalbeattie Primary School are planting a number of birch trees in their local wood to champion the species as a candidate for the national tree of Scotland.

The school has decided to champion birch because in Gaelic, Dalbeattie means ‘Valley of the Birch Trees’.

The consultation on choosing a national tree of Scotland is currently underway but ends on 3 December. The public is being encouraged to decide whether they would like a national tree symbol and if so, which species.

Alex Howie, deputy headteacher from Dalbeattie Primary School said:

“Dalbeattie’s forests and woodlands are very important to its identity, culture and economy.

“It’s so important that our pupils understand the importance of trees and the benefits that they bring.  Pupils really enjoy visits to the woodland and there’s no better way to learn about trees than a spot of planting.

“It’s great that they can also learn about the cultural links between birch trees and their own town. Birch is certainly our choice for the national tree.”

The idea for a national tree of Scotland first came from Alex Hamilton, a member of the public who brought a campaign to the Scottish Parliament and received cross-party support from MSPs.

Robin Fuller, Forestry Commission Scotland’s community & education ranger added:

“A national tree could be an important symbol to help us heighten the profile of trees.

“It’s great that school children from Dalbeattie are getting involved in the national consultation and making their views known.  We’d like to hear from as many people as possible so please get in touch before the consultation closes early December.”

Anyone who wishes to put across their views on a national tree for Scotland can email their thoughts to scotlandsnationaltree@forestry.gsi.gov.uk or log onto www.forestry.gov.uk/scotlandsnationaltree to find out more and enter the consultation.

Notes to news editors

1.  Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.

2.  For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests.  For Twitter: www.twitter.com/fcscotlandnews

3. Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

4.  Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.



e-mail: steve.williams@forestry.gsi.gov.uk