The Woodland Trust Scotland

Wed, Nov 25th 2020 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Public Affairs Manager, Arina Russell was a founder member of our Rotaract Club

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The Rotary Club of St Andrews met using Zoom and were very happy to welcome Arina Russell as their speaker. 

Arina is from Romania. She came to Scotland as a student at St Andrews University and has a long connection with the Rotary Club as she was one of the founder members of Rotaract when she was a student.

Arina is now a Public Affairs Manager with the Woodland Trust in Scotland. She told us that the Trust works to plant and halt the loss of native woods and trees and restore existing woodland to peak condition. They also manage and look after around 60 woods in Scotland, covering more than 11,000 hectares from Sutherland to Stranraer.

Her role is to help communities to create more native woodland and to show them how these native trees will adapt to climate change. Crofters and farmers are encouraged to invest in agroforestry schemes and are given help and advice by the Trust. Arina told us that native trees of Scotland are predicted to adapt to climate change whereas the future for more exotic trees is not so clear.

The Trust also has a role in woodland restoration. Many of our woodlands are not in good condition,  due to the impact of rhododendron and deer. These restoration projects are long term projects.

Another role that Arina performs is to lobby on behalf of the Trust with the Scottish Government in order to get policy or strategy changes to legislation relating to climate change and environmental policy. She showed us many photos where she was engaging with MSPs at many of the Woodland Trust sites all over Scotland so that they were better briefed on various environmental issues

Among many questions from members, Arina was asked what had prompted her interest in woodlands, which began as a student when she was inspired by lectures on Managing Scotland’s Environment. 

Colin Mitchell thanked Arina for her most informative talk.

Woodland is relevant to the current Environment theme of Rotary.

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