Last Thursday (16th) we began the second part of the Carrick River and Tree Education Project. Having delivered the river education portion of the project last year (click here to read about the first stage of the project) we are now in the process of planting trees with each of the 10 schools, when the project finishes we will have planted upwards of 300 trees with school pupils in the Carrick region.

The pupils each get the opportunity to plant a couple of trees and create their own small woodland on their local watercourse which they’ll be able to watch grow over the coming years. Each ‘woodland’ will get a plaque marking the date, school and class that planted the trees. Hopefully one day the pupils may return with their children and be able to say that “I planted those trees”!



Tools of the trade: stakes, guards, trees and spades. All the holes where bored with our new earth auger which does a fantastic job (earth auger trial).


These trees have an excellent chance of success….the dense, fibrous root systems should get a grip of the ground very quickly and the soil along the majority of rivers is very good quality, provided it isn’t waterlogged.


Culroy Burn: Wherever possible we are planting trees to provide greatest benefit to our watercourses. The take home message for the pupils is that there are multiple benefits to planting trees: oxygen creation, CO2 sequestered, habitat creation, shading, woody debris, bank stabilisation, flood defence, visual amenity, nutrient cycling….I could go on!



Ballantrae Planting: This picture shows 30 freshly planted trees. We have planted these over the erosion point near Ballantrae Bridge, with a little luck these trees will help to prevent erosion in the future and will provide the river with some shade. This area will be fenced to prevent livestock access.


The pupils of Ballantrae Primary School were still smiling after their hard work and despite a damp morning.



Colmonell Primary: The pupil’s of Colmonell Primary have much experience of tree planting and are very knowledgable about their environment. Despite being a dreich day everyone had a lot of fun.


Source: Ayshire River Trust – Carrick River and Tree Education Project – Tree Planting with schools