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by Liam Kirkaldy
12 April 2019
Up to five million trees to be planted across central belt coal mining communities

Mainshill site in South Lanarkshire - Image credit: FLS

Up to five million trees to be planted across central belt coal mining communities

Up to five million trees will be planted across the central belt as part of plans to “transform and strengthen” old coal mining communities, Fergus Ewing has announced.

Working alongside the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust, Hargreaves, Hall Construction and local authorities, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) will aim to produce 2,500 hectares of new planting as part of efforts to benefit communities and contribute towards national climate change ambitions.

FLS is also working to agree a purchase of opencast coal mine sites in South Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and in Fife and turn them into greenspace.

Speaking at Mainshill in South Lanarkshire, one of the sites designated, Rural Economy Secretary said: “I want to see more trees being planted across Scotland. This is a prime example of the exciting type of work that Forestry and Land Scotland can deliver for people and communities.

“I want to pay tribute to everyone involved at the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust whose tireless efforts are now coming to fruition. By working with the trust and South Lanarkshire Council, this vacant and derelict site at Mainshill will be restored carefully to an economic use that also benefits climate change. 

“But most importantly, this work will help transform and strengthen the communities that have been affected by open cast mining. With new planting and careful restoration of the sites, communities will see a total transformation, resulting in new greenspace and recreation opportunities right on their doorstep.”

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