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Diamonds are forever at Borders Estate

Torwoodlee and Buckholm Estate will be home to a prestigious Jubilee Wood, one of the flagship sites celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  A|ll part of the Woodland Trust's Jubilee Woods project.

Halkburn Wood is one of 60 prominent new Diamond Woods - each of 60 acres - 20 of which are in Scotland.  Hundreds of smaller Jubilee Woods are also being created across the UK; that's the vision for the Woodland Trust's ambitious Jubilee Woods project that aims to plan 6 million trees and involve millions of people in celebrating The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Owned by James Pringle, Torwoodlee and Buckholm Estate is a mix of agricultural, sporting, environmental and recreational interests, situated in the Scottish Borders, north and west of Galashiels.

The Pringle, or Hoppringill, family came to Torwoodlee, near Galashiels, in 1501 and 14 Lairds of Torwoodlee have run the Estate continuously since then.  They have featured in all of the major historical events over that time such as the Battle of Flodden, the restoration of the Stuarts and the coming of the Prince of Orange.

Many generations have planted trees on the estate and there has been, and still is, a genuine love of the many benefits they provide with a long term approach that has been, and still is being, taken.  James Pringle likes to think 200 years ahead if possible with his tree planting.

James Pringle said:

"As a family and as a rural business we feel honoured that our Halkburn Wood project has been selected as one of only 60 Diamond Jubilee woods in the UK to commemorate Her Majesty's 60 years on the throne.

"We have deliberately selected an area of the estate near to a remnant of the ancient Ettrick Forest so that we can enhance the old woodland with another 60 acres of native trees and so that there can be some linkage for the less known and less appreciated species like the insects and beetles, the mosses and lichens as well as the better known and more iconic red squirrels, woodcock and, I hope, blackgame.

"Already we have local primary schools involved, along with the Borders Forest Trust and the Royal Highland Education Trust, to help bring children out of the classroom and into contact with nature in all its wonderful variety and richness.

"As a member of Scottish Land & Estates, this is exactly the sort of good practice that we are aiming for - looking after the countryside and involving the local communities who can benefit in so many ways.  We will be paying local businesses to provide fencing, ground preparation, the trees and most of the planting so we'll be contributing to the local economy as well."

Carol Evans, Woodland Trust Scotland Director said:

"We are absolutely delighted to be helping to create a prestigious Diamond Wood at Torwoodlee.  This project allows us to engage with local children, provide them with the opportunity to plant trees, engage with nature and celebrate their role in marking this historic event.

"The project is not aimed just at landowners; the Trust is offering tree packs to local schools and community groups.  It's not too late to get involved, just visit the Trust website for more information."


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