Firm plants 125 trees to mark milestone anniversary

John McHugh, Simon Stuart & Alan Gordon

DM Hall Chartered Surveyors is marking its 125th anniversary by planting 125 trees in Cashel Forest, a 3,000-acre estate which is being transformed with native Scottish species into the ‘Forest for a Thousand Years’, as it is now being called.

Cashel, in the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, is managed by DM Hall’s specialist rural property arm Baird Lumsden and is owned by the Royal Scottish Forestry Society (RSFS), which is turning it into a community asset and tourist destination.

DM Hall explained that the tree planting is important in terms of native species regeneration, and also as a contribution to carbon sequestration, whereby plantings help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The firm’s 24 Scotland-wide offices will also embark over the anniversary year on a focused drive towards improved sustainability and, ultimately, to net zero.

Alan Gordon, DM Hall’s senior partner, said, “When our firm was founded in Edinburgh 125 years ago, it was impossible to foresee the pressures which climate change would put on society and businesses as we enter the third decade of the 21st century. We believe it is incumbent upon all of us in business today to honour the foresight of our firm’s predecessors by taking a lead in tackling climate change and choosing to make a difference.

“That difference is encapsulated not only by our decision to plant 125 carbon-offsetting trees in the Cashel Forest but also by implementing a programme of steady carbon reduction in our offices throughout Scotland. This initiative, and our openness to continuing our tree planting programme over the years, will lead to our firm becoming as sustainably responsible as possible, with the ultimate aim of reaching net zero.

“Planting 125 trees at Cashel is something of a symbolic act, illustrating our faith in the future, showing respect for the wonderful natural environment which we all share and making a small contribution to an extremely worthwhile project.”

Cashel was bought by the RSFS in 1996 and began its regeneration as a Millennium project. The forest includes trees such as birch, oak, juniper and hazel.

Simon Stuart, operations manager at Cashel Forest, said, “We are very grateful for the contribution DM Hall is making to the forest and the 125 trees they are supplying – oak, rowan and birch – will create an attractive sheltered area around the viewpoint. Some of the trees in the older part of the forest were planted in the 1800s – that is, in Napoleonic times – to be used for coppicing and charcoal-making. That illustrates how much of a long-term project forest creation is.

“Woodland provides long-lasting social, commercial and biodiversity benefits, but it must take all these elements into account and essentially be a hybrid between native and commercial trees to achieve sustainability. Well-managed woodland contributes hugely to carbon storage.”