Greening of Barrwood goes on

Scouts through the ages have contributed to the tree cover at Barrwood.
Scouts through the ages have contributed to the tree cover at Barrwood.

THE Barrwood has played an important part in the lives of thousands of young people for nearly 100 years.

Last week with guidance from the Barrwood Log we looked the development of the wood with the addition of a swimming pool and HQ in the lead up to World War Two.

During the war years the use of the wood increased as the need for more agricultural land saw some troops lose their own camping sites and their natural migration to Barrwood which then became the district weekend camping ground.

In 1944 the County Flag competition was restarted but then, two years later, one of the most significant events was the Barrwood’s 25th anniversary and its change of status.

On June 9, 1946, owner Sir Ian Bolton handed over 200 acres, made up of the Barrwood estate and Silverhills, to trustees for the Scouts of Falkirk District.

The ancient Scottish ceremony of sasine was performed as Sir Ian broke off a piece of rock and handed it to the trustees as a symbolic transfer of land.

Just two months later an international PL weekend was held for visitors from Switzerland, Belgium, France and Holland who had just attended the first jamborette at Blair Atholl. The international theme continued at the 1956 Jamboree when a number of foreign scouts were joined by the American Rev. Tom Weir.

Throughout those years a series of tree planting, starting in 1922 with a red hawthorn, took place. Some specimen teees were planted in 1929-30 and 22 spruce in March 1951. On Easter Sunday 1951 in a snowstorm pink and red hawthorn were planted to commemorate the 17 Scouters of the district who died in World War Two.

The planting of commemorative trees has continued throughout the years. To mark the coronation, 200 Scots pine, larch and spruce were planted. A plantation was created for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and commercial planting has become a source of income for the trust. Over the years individual trees have come from old Scouts while six came from the Cub Scouts in 1977 and were added to the Wolf Cub Walk to commemorate the section’s jubilee. The ‘‘greening’’ continues, ensuring the future of one of the district’s major assets.