Protecting trees dating back to Mary Queen of Scots

Wednesday October 12th 2016

Rosebank House Roslin c 1910

The black and white picture shows one of the trees to the right of Rosebank House around 1910.

Two trees which date from the time of Mary Queen of Scots will hopefully be around for hundreds of more years thanks to a partnership conservation project.

Organised by Midlothian Council’s Land and Countryside Service and funded by Rosslyn Chapel Trust, the project involved thinning ash and sycamore trees around the two ancient sweet chestnuts to allow the 450 year old trees to get more light.

Councillor Derek Rosie, the cabinet member for the Land and Countryside Service at Midlothian Council, said: “The trees, which sit within Roslin Glen on the former site of Rosebank House, are a hugely important part of our natural heritage.

“They are listed within the inventory, Heritage Trees of Scotland, which is a list of all ancient trees in the country.

“It’s been a real joint effort to make sure these trees are conserved and around for generations to come. As well as Rosslyn Chapel Trust, we’d like to also thank the volunteers from the Friends of Roslin Glen and Edinburgh University students from the Dirty Weekenders conservation volunteers, who helped remove the timber from the site.”

The timber was recycled for fire wood and for wildlife habitat piles.

Set within the historic landscape surrounding Rosslyn Chapel, the trees play an important part in the history and cultural heritage of the Roslin Glen and are frequently visited by tourist and naturalists.

They are also a vital educational resource for the local Roslin Primary School, including the children pictured, who frequently visit Roslin Glen to undertake educational visits as part of the school curriculum.

Winnie Stevenson, of Roslin Heritage Society, said:

“Ancient trees are as much a part of our heritage as ancient buildings. As living things, they require care and attention and the Roslin sweet chestnuts have been neglected for many years. Their lifetime exceeds ours many times over and we hope that future generations will continue to care for them. One of the two trees can be seen to the right of Rosebank House, already a gnarled old specimen over 100 years ago when this photograph was taken.”

Roslin Primary trees

Pictured from left to right are: Alan Krumholds and James Kinch from the council’s Land and Countryside Service, Lauren Kerr, P7 Roslin, Isabella Russell, P4 Roslin, Isla Drysdale, P7, Roslin, Holly Stewart, P5 Roslin, Ian Gardner, director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust, David Holton, P7 Roslin, Matthew Smart, P6 Roslin, Winnie Stevenson, Roslin Heritage Society, and Roslin Primary head teacher, Jo Wilson.

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