Peeblesshire welcomes Royal visitor
by Alan Ferguson • Published 20 Sep 2012 08:30 0 Comments
THE Borders played host to Princess Anne as she visited Peeblesshire to plant the first tree of the Diamond Jubilee Forest near Innerleithen having earlier represented the Queen at a Thanksgiving Service in Melrose.
Her Royal Highness wore a royal blue coat, black leather boots, pearl earrings, matching navy gloves and hangbag for the occasion. And she donned a pair of white and orange Adidas sports sunglasses for the hilltop hike.
Princess Anne planted a wild cherry tree at Glen Estate, near Innerleithen, to mark the creation of Grieston Hill Diamond Jubilee Wood - one of 60 that are being created across the UK to celebrate the Queen's jubilee.
The 84-acre site will be occupied by trees native to Scotland, including birch, ash, oak and rowan.
The Princess Royal was also presented with a sprig of Scottish white heather by Bronwyn Crowther, whose father works on Glen Estate.
Tessa Tennant, Lead Trustee of the Glen Estate, was thrilled to welcome Princess Anne to plant the first tree. She said: "I was asked - along with loads of other landowners - about this about two years ago, and the first thing I said was 'Yes, we're in!', so I'm glad.
"I'm all for planting trees because I'm concerned about climate change and planting trees is one way of addressing the problem. And to do that while celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is just fantastic."
She added: "I'm thrilled, absolutely thrilled, that Princess Anne could be here today. It's quite a trek up here to Grieston Hill, so it's great that she's made the effort to support the Woodland Trust and what we're doing here.
"And the thing I'm really thrilled about here is that we can see Innerleithen really well, and anyone walking up here will get the fantastic views. But also, Innerleithen can see the wood growing - so that conversation about the woodland will go on."
Woodland Trust Scotland director, Carol Evans, added: "We're delighted that this site has been chosen. The Woodland Trust is working with Princess Anne to make it the success it is. We've been helping landowners to celebrate the day across all of Scotland.
"This one was picked in the application process because of its spectacular setting and because we already have forests here - but not native conifer forests. There are forests to each side of the hill but this big gap in the middle.
The aim is to turn the forest into an outdoor classroom to be used by children and people of all ages.
"It'll take a while for the trees to start growing - but in about ten years time we'll begin to see the forest spring into life, with all the different colours, and new animals will come and make their homes here," added Carol.
Prior to the visit to Peeblesshire, the Princess Royal attended attended a Thanksgiving service and lunch at the Parish Church in Melrose. Here she also met the Lord-Lieutenants of Roxburgh, Ettrick & Lauderdale, Berwickshire and Tweeddale.
As well as enjoying the jubilee church service, the Princess had a walkabout towards Gibson Park where she was presented with a posy by primary one school pupil Calum Henderson.
She met with local festival principals including the Braw Lad and Lass from Galashiels, Selkirk's Royal Burgh Standard Bearer, the Lauder Cornet and the Melrosian.
And to round off the Melrose visit, she awarded two British Empire Medals to Elizabeth Brown, for services to the community of Ayton, and John Falla, for services to the rural economy.
Scottish Borders Council Convenor Graham Garvie said: "We are delighted that Her Royal Highness Princess Royal agreed to attend this important Celebratory Service to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
"The attendance of over 600 Borderers at this service is indicative to the warmth the Borders people have for Her Majesty and the outstanding service which she has given to our country over so many years."
This article appeared in Peeblesshire News 19 Sep 12
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