South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the launch of a consultation to find Scotland’s national tree.
The idea of having a national tree for Scotland was put forward by environmental campaigner Alex Hamilton earlier this year and caught the public imagination, as well as gathering support from organisations such as the Woodland Trust and Trees for Life.
In May, Ms. McAlpine lead a debate on the issue in the Scottish Parliament, arguing that a national tree could help boost efforts to restore native forests as well as educating young people about the importance of the environment.
Commenting the SNP MSP said:
“It is great that the campaign for Scotland’s national tree has reached this stage and Alex Hamilton deserves a lot of credit for this.
“As I said during my debate, I think declaring a national tree is a great way to educate children about the environment and how it links to Scotland’s history and identity.
“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I personally favour the Scots pine. It is iconic and does not grow naturally elsewhere in the UK or Ireland. Yet it is the most widely distributed conifer in the world, stretching from Scandinavia to southern Spain and from Ardnamurchan to Eastern Siberia. The Scots pine evokes the spirit of the Scottish human diaspora which is also scattered widely and would be the perfect ambassador for a country whose people have made such a mark on the world.”
“However, there are many other options, such as the rowan and the birch and I think it is important that people have their say. I will be encouraging as many people as possible to take part in the consultation.
The online consultation is being run by the Forestry Commission and will run until December 3rd.