A Rocha – Meet our new partners

As part of the facilities team at Lendrick Muir, I have direct involvement in how we manage the land which we are responsible for. We have 120 acres, about half of which is untamed grassland and woodland. The rest is a mix of activity use, staff housing, car parking and grass - lots of grass! So much so that our fantastic volunteers spend most of the summer just keeping on top of it to make sure the grounds are easily traversed and useful for a variety of activities.  

I have often wished that we could do something more exciting than just ‘cutting the grass.’ It is a fantastic site that has so much potential for wildlife. Of course, there already is quite a bit if you take your time to stop and look, but it could be so much better. With this thought in mind, we decided to become a ‘Partner in Action’ with A Rocha UK, a fantastic Christian conservation charity that helps landowners to protect and restore the natural environment for which they are responsible.  

After an initial visit to discuss the partnership, Andy and Regina from A Rocha were able to complete a survey of several SU Scotland sites and come up with suggestions on how we can improve the natural landscape, encourage native species, and protect what we already have. We had our official launch at Lendrick Muir in November 2021 and planted some trees to mark the occasion. Alltnacriche had their launch this summer with an amazing Eco Camp run in partnership with A Rocha.  

It turns out that Lendrick Muir has a wide variety of habitats encompassing all but 1 of the habitats listed in the Target 25 initiative. We have limited capacity within the staff to take on this extra work, as important as it is, but we felt that this was work that honoured God’s calling to care for His creation. So, we took on board A Rocha’s suggestions and started to devise a plan. Over the years, Graham Simpson has put a lot of time and effort into installing bird boxes and planting hundreds of trees around the site. So, to continue in the same vein we created bird box kits that could be assembled by some of the school groups that visit us. It proved to be quite popular and was great to see them appearing around the site. Hopefully in time they will become well visited! 

Another initiative was to welcome outside groups to help us plant trees around the site. With some advice on the best locations and types of trees to plant, a group from Peter Vardy spent the day with us and planted over 100 trees as well as clear a section of Rhododendron, which are well-known to reduce biodiversity.  

It’s great being able to see the site changing in a way that will encourage the flourishing of nature, but there is much work yet to be done. We want to see the children and young people that visit us experience the joy of being outside in God’s creation - getting their hands dirty and taking part in his call to care for the world that we live in.  

There is much in this world to lament when it comes to the environment. But that should not cause us to turn from our calling to care for God’s world. And hopefully we can play our part in teaching future generations how important this work is and how it plays a part in our desire to worship and honour our heavenly Father.  

Find out more about A Rocha UK and Partners in Action here - A Rocha UK – Caring for God's Earth