The half-acre site at Oldtown, just outside Tarland is now home to a wood of 135 rowan, oak, hazel, cherry, blackthorn, birch and hawthorn saplings – a new tree for every pupil at the schools.
In partnership with Cromar Community Council, the venture was enabled by the MacRobert Trust as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, a unique tree-planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
Chief Executive for the Trust, Chris Hockley, explained: “Working with the Woodland Trust’s Free Trees for Schools and Communities Scheme, the Queen’s Green Canopy invites people from across the UK to ‘plant a tree for the jubilee’, in a bid to enhance the environment.
“The MacRobert Trust is committed to addressing climate change and improving bio-diversity, so when we learned of this tree-planting initiative it seemed a great opportunity to get involved through the donation of land, and we got together with the Community Council and the schools to make this happen. The children did a fantastic job on the day – many of them walked the mile to and from the planting site in glorious sunshine, with transport provided for the younger ones.”
Head Teacher for Tarland and Logie Coldstone Primary schools, Julie Rogers, said: “The tree- planting initiative has been great for the children. Thanks to Chris Hockley’s school visits, in his role as one of Aberdeenshire’s Deputy Lieutenants, and the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative itself, they’ve learned about The Queen and what she has done over her 70 years on the throne. They also have a better understanding of the need for more trees, the tree planting season and where best to plant, as well as how to secure a tree and enable it to flourish. The tree-planting day itself was a real success, giving each child the satisfaction of knowing they’d planted their own tree – and one they can come back and visit in the years to come.”
“Cromar has celebrated every royal Jubilee since Queen Victoria’s in 1887 and its children have always been at the centre of events,” said Simon Welfare, Chairman of Cromar Community Council. “We are grateful to them for their enthusiastic tree-planting and to the MacRobert Trust for continuing its own much-appreciated tradition of generosity to our local community in providing the land and expertise for creating such a fine wood for future generations to enjoy.”
The newly planted site has been named the Platinum Wood, from a list of suggestions from the school children themselves.
The MacRobert Trust performs three roles: it is a dynamic charity; it is the owner of an historic legacy and it is a forward-thinking landlord with a large and vibrant estate to manage. Operating within a modern context, the Trust operates according to the values of their late benefactor, Lady MacRobert, who believed that young people can strive to achieve great things, no matter how disadvantaged their backgrounds.
Since it began, The MacRobert Trust has donated millions of pounds to charitable organisations, created a variety of prizes, awards, traineeships and endowments, and paid for building works across the country. Find out more about the Trust at www.themacroberttrust.org.uk/annualreview2021