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A group of Scouts braved the wind and the rain to help a local farmer plant native trees and hedges in a project funded by Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Local farmer Nicola Hornsby applied for funding from the National Park Grant Scheme and received £5,400 to support the project which aims to reduce flooding and protect vegetation and livestock on the farm.
Nicola said: “We moved into the farm in December 2016 and saw a sign on a building which was being renovated with help from the National Park Grant Scheme and we decided to apply for funding. We were absolutely delighted when the National Park Authority supported our plans.”
Through a mutual friend, Nicola invited the group from the 30th Glasgow Scout Group based in Cardonald to lend a helping hand with the planting earlier this month.
She said: “The Scout leader was keen to get his group out into the Trossachs for outdoor activities and we were happy to get some help with our hedge planting. Working with the group also fits with our ethos of having an “open gate” policy at the farm and we like to provide opportunities for young people to learn more about rural life and where their food comes from.”
The trees planted will help stabilise the riverbank and contribute to a reduced risk of flooding in the area. The hedges also contain six native species and will help make the area more attractive to wildlife, as well as visitors who travel down the Three Lochs Forest Drive or who walk or cycle through the farm on the Great Trossachs Path.
The Scout group also used the opportunity to raise money to repair their hall roof as they were sponsored to take part in the event at the farm.
Simon Jones, Director of Conservation and Visitor Operations at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “The National Park Grant Scheme allows us to provide vital funding to a wide range of projects and initiatives across the Park.
“One of the key aims in our recently launched National Park Partnership Plan is to encourage people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to access and enjoy the great outdoors. The Partnership Plan also details how the Park Authority will tackle vital issues such as the effects of climate change and how we can conserve and enhance this special place.
“It’s fantastic to see projects like the one in Achray Farm delivering on these aims and using the opportunity to get young people out into the National Park to learn about the environment which is particularly relevant during the 2018 Year of Young People.”
Other projects which received funding from the National Park Grant scheme last year include the development and design of a new play area in Breadalbane Park, Killin and an otter survey and pontoon designs in Loch Long, Arrochar.
The National Park Grant Scheme supports projects that deliver against multiple outcomes in the National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023. Anyone interested in applying for funding through the scheme will be invited to submit expressions of interest in May 2018.