SCOTTISH Borders environmental charity Tweed Forum has won a prestigious award for its targeted approach to the planting of over one million trees in the region.

The RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards, which seek to recognise the best in nature conservation in Scotland, recently took place in a virtual ceremony hosted by TV presenter, author and wildlife expert Steve Backshall and BBC Scotland presenter Euan McIlwraith.

Nine awards were announced on the night with Tweed Forum picking up the top prize in the Forest and Woodland category for a 10-year programme that facilitated the planting of over 1 million native broadleaved trees.

The core aim of the projects was to carry out tree planting that would deliver multiple benefits including enhancing biodiversity, improving water quality, reducing flooding, protecting the fishery and storing carbon.

READ MORE: Charity calls for half of all trees planted to be native

Most of the woodland creation focused on areas near the headwaters of the Tweed catchment covering major tributaries including the Teviot, Ettrick, Yarrow, Eddleston, Leader, Gala, Whiteadder and Till.

Over 650 ha of woodland have been planted and it is estimated that the trees will store over 250,000 tonnes of carbon over their lifetime.

The project also illustrated Tweed Forum’s partnership approach and blended financing initiatives which use a mix of public, private, commercial and charitable funds to make the tree planting work cost-neutral for the landowners, farmers or communities involved.

James Hepburne Scott, Tweed Forum chairman, said: “We are delighted to have won this award. Our tree-planting projects aim to plant trees in the right place at the right scale to make a real difference and deliver multiple benefits for the Borders and beyond. It’s very much a joint effort and thanks are due to all of the funders, partners and most importantly, the farmers and landowners who have hosted trees on their land.”

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