Grant will help boost Midlothian wildlife

A MIDLOTHIAN farm has received a £87,800 boost towards creating a new woodland.

Jason McCran at Rosemay Farm, Leadburn, will use the the grant from the Scottish Government’s Rural Priorities fund to create a wildlife corridor in the rural location.

The cash will be used to plant a mixed woodland and hedges to improve the quality of the local landscape, which is south of the Leaburn junction. There will be 3.5 hectares of mixed conifer and broad-leaved woodland providing a shelter belt for existing woodland.

The woodlands have been designed to provide future opportunities to develop commercial sporting interests and will also deliver a range of biodiversity benefits by strengthening the local forest habitat.

In addition, to the new woodland, Mr McCran will plant and manage approximately 3500m of new hedge, which will make a long-term contribution to the area’s landscape and provide additional habitat for local wildlife.

He said he hoped to have the trees and hedging planted by the end of 2011 either fitting in with the planting season in the spring and autumn.

Preparatory work will be required to erect fencing to make the planting area deer and rabbit proof.

“The grant is important. The work couldn’t be justified entirely because of the size of the farm. The planting will significantly increase the setting value of the area.

“It is quite open and flat. Trees have been removed in the past. All we are doing in reinstating existing lines of mature trees.

“The hedging rows will act as a barrier for the weather we had earlier this year and just now and be a shelter belt for stock to lie behind.”

He added the woodland and hedging would increase the aesthetic look of the area.

“It will link up with neighbouring farms carrying out similar woodland work. The idea is to create green corridors, big wildlife corridors.”