Threatened trees project celebrates 10th birthday in style

The Perthshire Conifer Conservation Programme (PCCP) has celebrated its 10th birthday by planting five internationally threatened conifers at Perth College UHI on Tuesday 25th September 2018.

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L-R Cameron Maxwell, Forestry Commission Scotland; Margaret Cook, Principal of Perth College UHI; and Doug Flint, Perthshire Conifer Conservation Programme Project Officer

Perth College UHI Principal Margaret Cook planted one of the trees, a Fitzroya, in the grounds, continuing the long history of exotic tree species there. The site is on the former gardens of what was Brahan House, an Arts & Crafts style mansion where previous generations of Perth’s famous Pullar family planted unusual and striking trees. Each new tree will have its own specially designed ‘cage’ to protect it while it grows. The cages have been made by the horticulture students at the college and they will look after the trees as part of their studies.

The PCCP finds ‘safe havens’ in the woodlands, gardens and estate of Perthshire, where threatened conifers from around the world can be grown ready for the day when their seeds can be returned to their native countries to help re-establish the forest there. The programme is a partnership project of the Forestry Commission Scotland, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust. PCCP has planted over 1000 trees over the last 10 years, representing around 75 threatened conifer species on 26 sites in Perthshire with 22 owners.

Doug Flint, PCCP Project Officer said “I’m delighted to welcome Perth College UHI as the 25th site in the PCCP and it’s fitting that the trees should be planted on our 10th birthday near other unusual mature trees on the former Brahan estate. I’m particularly pleased that the students will help protect and monitor these new trees. ”

Margaret Cook, Principal at Perth College UHI, said: “We are pleased to support the valuable work of the PCCP, and protecting these trees on campus will enrich the student learning experience. For years to come, these trees will inspire our NC Horticulture students as they develop their practical skills whilst learning about the important role of conservation.”

PCCP trees are accessible to the public across a number of forests, parks, gardens and designed landscapes in Perthshire including: Gleneagles, Dunkeld House and Crieff Hydro hotels; publicly owned land managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland, Perth & Kinross Council greenspaces and Scottish Natural Heritage and; privately owned estates like Scone Palace, Atholl Estates & Bonskeid Estates.