Friends of the Pentlands – Annual Review 2017

Below we have extracted the Chair’s Foreword from the 2017 Friends of the Pentlands Annual Review. The full pdf version can be downloaded below.

‘I’m delighted to let you know that 2017 has been a most productive year for the Friends involving many different projects and activities, some large and some not so large’. John Surtees

Inside the Review you’ll find details of signifcant improvements to the Harlaw Visitor Centre wildlife garden funded by Tesco Bags of Help, their local community grant scheme. There have been various initiatives to improve paths such as the track near Mid-Crosswood in the SW Pentlands, where the materials were funded by the James Thin Charitable Trust. This has been in addition to ‘business as usual’ in the form of Access for All, litter-picking and gardening. One result of all this activity is that we have a growing list of maintenance items, and growing is literally the word when it comes to trees as we now have six arboreta and an orchard under our care!

Mention of trees leads me to our latest book. We found time to publish the Friends’ third book, Wildwood Legacy: what our native trees did for us, at the start of 2017. We are most grateful to founder member Martyn Baguley for authoring this delightful book, and thank you to all those who have supported the Friends by buying a copy. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be used for charitable purposes. Also on the publishing side, our calendar continues to sell well and raise valuable funds too.

We continue to work alongside a number of organisations such as the Balerno Ramblers, Scottish Widows, Braidburn Special School, Woodlands Special School, Dean Park Primary School (Balerno) and also the City of Edinburgh Council Natural Heritage Service/Pentland Hills Regional Park. The support of the MOD and various landowners has also been much appreciated. We are fortunate to have so many parties and individuals supporting and encouraging our efforts.

2017 saw another varied members’ programme too. We enjoyed talks by David Le Sueur, Deacon Convener of Trades of Edinburgh in March, fellow member David Syme at the well-supported AGM and author Kellan McInnes in November. Several walks were enjoyed, although some in less than favourable weather! As always our tea and cake events at Harlaw Visitor Centre were greatly enjoyed and they have the bene t too of raising important funds for the Friends.

None of the activities mentioned above could have taken place without the hard work, a lot of it unseen, by your board of trustees, team leaders and of course a redoubtable and hardy team of volunteers. I must also say a special thanks to
the Secretary, John Stirling, in connection with the Harlaw wildlife garden over the past 12 months. From securing grant funding through to practical completion of the works John’s tireless efforts have been commendable and reflect so well on the Friends.

I do hope you nd this Review an informative and enjoyable read and thanks again to Dennis Smith who has done another splendid job in bringing it altogether. As we look forward to another busy year I would like to take the opportunity to send best wishes for 2018.

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