Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Final 'Tree from the Trenches' planted in Edinburgh memorial wood

WW1 tree plant Image copyright Maverick photo agency
Image caption Margaret Murison and Maj Gen Andrew Mackay, Scotland's First World War Centenary Wood Ambassador, plant the final tree

A tree from World War One trenches has been planted to complete Scotland's First World War Centenary Wood.

The Verdun oak tree has descended from an acorn from a French battlefield and is now part of the memorial in Dreghorn, Edinburgh.

It joins 24,000 native trees across 23 hectares to create the woodland commemorating those who served in WW1.

Volunteers and members of the armed forces have been working on the wood for four years.

The tree was planted by Margaret Murison, from West Calder, who planted the first one in 2014.

Her grandfather William Balmer and his brother John enlisted together in 2nd Battalion The Seaforth Highlanders.

They were killed on the same day during the Battle of Ypres in 1917.

Tribute to sacrifice

After the war the mayor of Verdun sent acorns from the battlefield to England and saplings were then sold to raise money for ex-servicemen.

The Woodland Trust tracked down some of these now mature trees and acorns were collected then grown by inmates at HMP Doncaster.

Carol Evans, director of the Woodland Trust Scotland, said: "These new woods which have been created over these past four centenary years will stand as a living, growing thank you to everyone who lived through the conflict.

"From those who paid the highest price and their families, to the hard-working men and women off the battlefield."

Woodland Trust Scotland worked with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to create the new wood at Dreghorn.

Maj Kim Torp-Petersen, DIO deputy commander, said: "It provides a fitting memorial to the sacrifices of the past, whilst creating new woodland to help soldiers train more effectively in the future."