Free trees for communities 
Silver Birch (Scotland) Ltd 
East Dunbartonshire 

>> Mark McCrorie, business manager, Silver Birch: 
Silver Birch is registered charity and social enterprise who were founded in 1996 and it's our sole purpose to work with the clients who attend here. To provide support through the realm of social and therapeutic horticulture.  

The clients who attend here can gain a range of skills, including self-confidence, experience of working in a team, general improved coordination, physical and mental health improvement, just the general benefits of being outdoors that we all take for granted. There’s a real social aspect to Silver Birch and a feeling of belonging, particularly with marginalised groups and people with additional support needs. 

>> Mark Williams, senior support worker, Silver Birch: 
When I found out about the Woodland Trust tree packs, we thought it would be a good avenue for us to go down and get some free plants into our gardens. Obviously, being a charity we’re short of funding, so it was a nice way to get some free stuff and year after year we just kept on applying.  
The Woodland Trust provided us with tubes and stakes for tree protection and we planted a variety of hedging plants, including hawthorn, blackthorn, rowan, silver birch, hazel, and we’ve used it in several areas around the site, particularly the maze that we built out of the hedging. And now it’s been six or seven years I think that we’ve been applying for packs and the maze has finally grown up into a proper maze.  

>> Fraser Brash, site maintenance team: 
It keeps us healthy. It’s a nice thing to have. It’s good for the nature life and that. 

>> Rebekah Proctor, site maintenance team: 
It’s been really good, yeah, and just been like a challenge to go down there and find your way back home. 

>> Mark Williams: 
Planting the trees and growing the trees that the Woodland Trust provided has made a great impact on our clients. It’s opened up different levels of skill development that we can work on with them, different gardening techniques, and it’s been fun for them, especially having the maze to play in and that. 

>> Peter McMahon, retail team: 
That’s what this project’s all about. We see things live because without this place people like myself wouldn’t try it. 

>> Mark Williams: 
I would like to say thank you to the Woodland Trust for our free trees. It’s a very easy application and I’d advise anyone to apply for them.