A team from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has made the difference at Strathnairn Community Woodland by helping with the removal of deer guards on 700 young trees.

The team of six volunteers, who are all part of SSEN’s Transmission team based in Inverness, were able to help thanks to the company’s ‘Be the Difference’ scheme, which gives every member of staff a day away from their usual workplace to support a local charity or good cause.

When the Strathnairn saplings were planted 12-15 years ago, the main risk to their growth came from the deer who live and graze in the area, as young trees are a great source of nutrition for deer. With the saplings initially being around head-height, they represented the ideal fast food for a hungry deer on the hunt for nourishment. The challenge facing Strathnairn was how to help the young trees grow, while at the same time not causing any physical damage to the local deer with any protective shielding that was installed.

The safe and sustainable solution to this was to install special plastic tubing which allowed the saplings to develop but would also not pose any danger to curious or hungry deer. Around 700 of these protective tubes were installed, and now that the trees are fully developed, the time had come for their protection to be removed.

SSEN’s Louise Anderson explains more about how she and her colleagues came to be involved with Strathnairn Community Woodland: “As a responsible developer, SSEN is committed to doing everything it can to be a good neighbour, and we’re all delighted to have been able to help Strathnairn Community Woodland with this essential, but very-time consuming task.

“Be the Difference is all about supporting a local good cause, and this is now the second time that we’ve been along to help with some of the tasks on site, and everyone in the team has really enjoyed each visit, even although some of us have had a few aches the next day!”

Davy Thompson from Strathnairn Community Woodlands said that the group was very grateful for the help provided by SSEN’s team:

“The removal of all these plastic tubes is a big effort and the contribution by SSEN’s team really has made the difference, and the work couldn’t have been completed without their help.”

To learn more about Be the Difference, please click here.

The above photo shows SSEN's team at Strathnairn Community Woodland, with Louise Anderson in the centre of the back row.

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