Thursday 15 December 2016

John Bruce Elliott Wood

At Hoprigshiels there are three wind turbines currently being constructed to allow affordable housing to be built in the Berwickshire area. The project has been in development by Berwickshire Community Renewables for years and finally got the go ahead earlier this year. There is a range of ‘habitat enhancement works’ that were undertaken as a part of the project. One such component of the works was a native woodland comprised of three compartments planted on a nearby farm (close to Oldhamstocks, East Lothian). The woodland had a very specific design as it had a number of purposes; improving the habitat for wildlife, creating shelter for sheep on the hill and to provide a visual screen between the conservation village of  Oldhamstocks and the wind turbines’ rotating blades.

The newly planted John Bruce Elliott wood.
Sadly John Bruce Elliot passed away in April 2015. John was a long-time friend and supporter of Borders Forest Trust and chairman of Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA). He was also for many years a Councillor with Scottish Borders Council and Chair of the Berwickshire Area Committee. He was very much an outdoor person and an active member of the Duns Walkers and Berwickshire branch of the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
  The community renewables project was a long term vision of John’s and it was decided by the project coordinators that the woodland planted as a part of the project would be named the ‘John Bruce Elliott Wood’, a fitting tribute.
Pleasant words and memories being shared by colleagues, family and friends

On November 4th myself and David Long (BFT trustee and friend of John Elliott) attended the naming ceremony which started at the Oldhamstocks village hall and was very well attended by John’s colleagues, friends and family.

John's daughter planting a Scots Pine in John's memory

 We all then headed to the new woodland and were greeted with a beautiful view of the coast and pleasant, crisp weather.

A toast and a fitting speech were given.

A few words were said by John’s colleagues and daughter who then revealed a beautiful wooden plaque carved by a local craftsman. A tree (Scots pine) was then planted and glasses raised in Johns memory.

The plaque which now stands among the trees in the new woodland.

It was a privilege to represent BFT in such a positive way and to coordinate the planting of a woodland that improves local woodland habitat connectivity and provides such strong ties to the local community.

Alasdair Fagan
Woodland Habitats Officer

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