ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are encouraging Borders farmers to integrate tree planting into their business. 

Forestry Commission Scotland is set to host three evening talks across the region, to show land owners the benefits of tree planting.

The sessions will be held in Stow, Morebattle and Eddleston.

Doug Howieson, Forestry Commission Scotland’s conservator for south Scotland said: "The Scottish Government is looking to increase tree planting to help mitigate climate change and to secure timber supplies and jobs for the future.

"Forestry is a long-term business and it takes time to think through woodland creation ideas and turn them into approved grant applications. 

"The three evening talks will explain the process and help farmers and land managers fully understand what financial support is available.

"We would welcome all to attend and hope that the talks will encourage land owners to start the process of planning for more woodlands and shelterbelts on their land.

"The three evening talks will be an informative two hours, over three consecutive Wednesday evenings. There will be time afterwards for breakout discussions and to arrange free farm site visits."

The organisation will also be raffling a chainsaw carved perched eagle made of Western Red Cedar, which has been made by champion carver Peter Bowsher. 

Money from the £5 raffle tickets will go towards Tree Aid Africa. 

The first talk will be held on Wednesday, January 31 at Eddleston Village Hall from 7pm-9pm.

On Wednesday, February 7, the organisation will head to Morebattle Village Hall at 7pm.

And the final event will take place a week later on February 14 at Stow Town Hall from 7pm-9pm.

If you are interested in attending the evening talk contact the Forestry Commission on 0300 067 6007, or email http://southscotland.cons@forestry.gsi.gov.uk