Martin Whitfield MSP has committed to supporting work being undertaken by the Woodland Trust following a recent visit to Pressmennan Wood near Stenton which is owned by the charity.

Mr Whitfield joined Woodland Trust representatives on a walk in the woods and a briefing on its work there. Pressmennan Wood has been continuously wooded since the early 15th century and a large part of it is still classified as Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland.

The charity purchased the wood from Forestry Commission Scotland in 1988 and has been slowly restoring it by gradually removing some of the conifers and rhododendrons, encouraging native species to regenerate.

Commenting after his visit, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“East Lothian has many areas of important woodland and Pressmennan is certainly one of the most well-used and loved by local people. I’m grateful to Arina and Gary from the Woodland Trust for taking the time out to update me on the work the charity has been undertaking at Pressmennan and their plans for its future.

“As well as taking a walk in the beautiful woods, we talked about the importance of ancient woodland and the vital part it must play in supporting sustainability and achieving our climate change goals. Pressmennan is a key part of that agenda and I will be supporting the Woodland’s Trust’s work locally and at Holyrood.”

Woodland Trust Scotland’s Policy and Advocacy Manager Arina Russell, who accompanied Martin on the visit, said:

“It was a pleasure to host Martin Whitfield MSP at Pressmennan wood this summer. This is a well-used local woodland, which we are managing for now and for future generations. It is an ancient woodland site that was planted with conifers. We are now restoring it to bring back a diversity of species and structure. This is work I hope Martin will support in his parliamentary role.”