A WORLDWIDE initiative to help protect the environment by encouraging tree growth has reached Tweeddale.

As part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy nature project, local MP David Mundell recently planted saplings in Broughton. He was joined at a planting ceremony for a rowan sapling by representatives of local community councils and by Robert Balfour, a Deputy Lord-Lieutentant for Tweeddale.

Mr Mundell said: “Hopefully all the saplings will grow into healthy trees, become an attractive feature in the local landscapes and help the environment.

“Through MPs planting individual saplings, the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy hope to raise awareness of the environmental value of trees.

“The benefits not only come from carefully planned sustainable forestry but also individual trees planted in gardens and parks.”

Elsewhere, the Secretary of State for Scotland has planted trees at a remembrance garden at Biggar and in the grounds of Bankfoot House care home at Moffat.

And a young tree will also be planted at Langholm later in January. Mr Mundell, who recently toured the woodlands managed by the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh at Dawyck, added: “I’ll be watching the trees we are planting around the constituency grow with great interest in the coming years.”