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Heartlands Plants 50 Trees for National Tree Week
Posted on: 02 December 2014
Tree reinstatement programme picks up pace at 610 hectare development
To coincide with National Tree Week launching on 29 November, developers at Heartlands, one of Europe’s largest reclamation and regeneration sites, will replant over 50 trees Ecosse Regeneration, the firm behind Heartlands, will replant the trees within parts of the 610 hectare site as part of their continued commitment to place sustainability at the heart of the project. The trees are part of the original group of 2,500 which were removed from the site of the former colliery and taken into a dedicated nursery to be used in the regenerated landscape. To date, more than 100,000 trees and plants have been planted on the site.
Ever since works began on the site, Heartlands has invested considerable effort in retaining existing woodland and tree belts. Even the road layouts in the business park and the residential plots are following existing tree lines so that the trees themselves become landscape features.
In addition to the recycled trees, more than 3,500 semi-mature trees have been contract grown to enhance the multitude over green corridors and linear parks. These trees comprise Rowan, Acer, Oak, Alder, Chestnut Ash and Pine, all of which have been carefully selected due to their suitability to the environment.
Alex Muirhead, Heartlands Development Director for Ecosse Regeneration, said: “Despite being one of the largest engineering platforms in Europe, the preservation and promotion of the ecology within Heartlands has always been a priority throughout the development of the site. By placing sustainability at the heart of the project, our aim is to create a vibrant community in which residents are happy to live, work and play.
“Recycling and re-using as much of the onsite materials is fundamental in giving a natural looking landscape, and reinstating the trees from the original site is an important part of this work along with re-used boulders and stones, as features throughout the site. We’ve also worked closely with WRAP to develop ways of utilising recycled materials within the restoration to enhance the landscape.”
Karen Armstrong, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey East Scotland, says: “As a responsible housebuilder, our developments are not just about delivering houses, but are also about creating attractive and sustainable communities for residents to enjoy for many years to come. A big part of that involves planting new trees and providing new landscaping to create a pleasant green environment for the benefit of the new community.
“National Tree Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the tree planting, and the efforts underway at Heartlands in West Lothian to plant trees echoes activity taking place at a number of our developments right across the UK.”
Over the past year, Heartlands has made significant progress in bringing the development to life. Following the opening last year of a new dedicated motorway junction to serve Heartlands, Bellway has joined Taylor Wimpey as the second housebuilder on the site. Between them they have sold in excess of 80 homes. Oil States Industries (UK) Ltd has also signed up as the business park’s flagship tenant, and is currently in the process of developing a new state-of-the-art facility. Work is now set to begin on the second phase of infrastructure, opening up a further 20 acres of land for residential development.
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Notes to Editors
Heartlands is a £650m business, retail, residential and leisure destination, providing around 4,000 new jobs. Developed by Ecosse Regeneration, the site comprises 610 hectares (2.32 square miles) of land directly to the west of Whitburn, on the site of the former Polkemmet Colliery, one of Scotland’s largest deep mines, which ceased operation in 1985. It stretches just under 5km from north to south and is a little over 3km at its widest point. The development is sited halfway between Scotland’s two biggest cities, approximately 37km from Glasgow in the west and 34km from Edinburgh in the east.
One of the largest reclamation and regeneration projects in Europe, the Heartlands Development currently includes plans for 2,000 homes, as well as leisure, education and community facilities. One of the driving forces behind the Heartlands development is the creation of a business park with more than 1.5 million sq. ft. of commercial space, creating future employment for around 4,000 people.
Work began on site in 2004 to decontaminate and remediate the land of the former mining site, the size of 1,000 football pitches. With sustainability at the core of the Heartlands development, Ecosse Regeneration has taken great care not only to minimise disruption to the environment and ecology, but also to find ways of improving the local environment and ecology of the site itself and the surrounding communities. The once brownfield site is becoming a showcase for brownfield regeneration. The project was recognised at the 2012 RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) Planning Awards in London with a commendation in the Regeneration and Renewal Category.