Quarry specialist steps up to support community woodland project

TILLICOULTRY Quarries is supporting the development of a local environmental project.

Neville Kilkenny, project manager at Gifford Community Woodland, contacted Tillicoultry director Wallace Menzies in the hope of securing materials to improve the drainage and improve accessibility to the woodland, which is just three miles away from the firm’s Longyester Quarry in haddington.

Neville explained, “The community woodland at Gifford has become an important resource to the local and broader community for both health and wellbeing, as well as in terms of it being a fantastic example of a native broad leaf woodland in Scotland.

“Having worked on the project for the last few years, it has been a wonderful experience in terms of bringing together and engaging the local community around this ancient forest. The footfall within the woodland and on East Lothian’s path network has significantly increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic as many of our community use it as the main destination for daily recreational walks and outdoor exercise.

“Though it is a fantastic and hugely valuable asset, one of our central paths – an old railway line which is a key link between our woodland and other core path routes – has poor drainage which is causing accessibility challenges for some of our older and less able visitors. We’ve also had challenges with drainage from this area causing localised flooding.

“With Longyester Quarry on our doorstep, enabling us to minimise our environmental impact, and having been a customer of Tillicoultry Quarries myself, I hoped to secure some much-needed local business support to reprofile and maintain the drainage ditches using perforated pipework backfilled with 100 tonnes of gravel. They didn’t disappoint and we were delighted when they said yes.”

Wallace Menzies added, “As a family business, Tillicoultry Quarries prides itself on giving back to local people, businesses and communities. It’s an important part of who we are as a company, as we know our successes are firmly rooted in the local communities which we work and live in. Given the environmental importance of the work being done at Gifford Community Woodland, it’s positive impacts on the local community – especially throughout Covid-19 – and with its proximity to our Longyester Quarry, we were only too pleased to offer our support. We wish Neville and the local community in East Lothian, the very best of luck in their endeavours with the woodland and look forward to seeing the project develop and add value to the local area for many years to come.”