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ACVO News June 2024

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Jun 5, 2024

Riverbank restoration receives helping hand from Camphill School Aberdeen

Young people from local charity, Camphill School Aberdeen, have helped The River Dee Trust plant hundreds of trees along the stretch of river that runs past its estate as part of an initiative to protect the river’s renowned salmon.

Volunteers from the trust were joined by 10 young people with learning disabilities and complex additional support needs from Camphill School Aberdeen, as well as five volunteers from Subsea7’s Aberdeen office, who helped plant hundreds of native trees along the riverbed. The trees were planted along the stretch of river that runs alongside Camphill School Aberdeen’s Murtle Estate in Bieldside.

This initiative is part of The River Dee Trust’s wider One Million Trees campaign which aims to protect the river’s Atlantic salmon by providing cooling shade against rising river temperatures and improving woodland coverage along the riverbanks. The campaign is also vital for helping to increase biodiversity in the area. The trees planted include species such as hazel, rowan and elder, which help stabilise riverbanks from erosion and provide increased protection from flooding.

Camphill School Aberdeen, which provides sector-leading day and residential services to children and young people with learning disabilities and complex additional support needs, has been at the forefront of sustainable practices for over 80 years. The charity strives to have a positive impact on its surrounding environment through initiatives including growing its own organic produce, reducing waste and decreasing carbon emissions.

Alex Busch, Executive Director at Camphill School Aberdeen, said: “We are fortunate that our estates are located in such a beautiful part of the North East of Scotland with the River Dee running past both our Camphill and Murtle estates. Camphill School Aberdeen understands the importance of protecting the environment around us to ensure it continues to thrive for generations to come.

“A big part of our holistic approach to care is mutual care and respect for our environment and the therapeutic and health benefits of our student’s surroundings. By taking part in The River Dee Trust’s One Million Trees campaign, we are helping wildlife flourish as well as supporting the health and wellbeing of the young people on our estates.”

Claire Fleming, Engagement Officer at The River Dee Trust, said: “When the team at Subsea7 asked if we could do something jointly with another of their charity partners, Camphill School Aberdeen, we jumped at the chance. 

“The day itself was fantastic, with students and volunteers getting stuck in moving equipment to the planting location, digging holes and learning how to plant the trees to maximise their chance to thrive.  For myself and the Trust’s team, it was a wonderful opportunity to visit the impressive school estate and learn about their incredible work, while talking to the students and volunteers about our mission to restore biodiversity on the Dee.”

Steve Wisely, Senior Vice President of UK and Global IRM at Subsea7, said: “At Subsea7, we enjoy taking part in community activities that help to shape a brighter future for young people. Together with Camphill School Aberdeen and The River Dee Trust, we believe that with each tree that is planted, we are cultivating not only a green space that will flourish but also an experience that each young person can enjoy and remember for years to come.”

Alex added: “Thank you also to the volunteers from Subsea7 who took the time to help us plant the trees. It is great to forge relationships with corporates who share the same vision for the future as us. Subsea7 has been a continued supporter of Camphill School Aberdeen and has undertaken several volunteering and fundraising activities on our behalf including supporting the costs of renewing our commercial greenhouse, volunteering on our estates, and welcoming us to their office to host a pop-up shop.”

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