Rooted in local communities: TQ offers its support to Gifford Community Woodland Project

Leading Scottish quarrying and construction materials company, Tillicoultry Quarries, supports the development of local environmental development project at Gifford Community Woodland.

With a dedication to local communities since its inception in 1931, family business Tillicoultry Quarries has a long history of community engagement and support for local causes, from charitable donations and individual sponsorship to boosting local employability, using locally sourced labour, materials and goods or encouraging its employees to make positive contributions to the community.

Project Manager at Gifford Community Woodland, Neville Kilkenny, recently contacted Director of Tillicoultry Quarries, Wallace Menzies, with the hope of securing materials to improve the drainage and improve accessibility to the woodland, which is just three miles away from its Longyester Quarry.

Neville explained,

“The Community Woodland at Gifford has become an important resource to the local and broader community for both health and well-being, as well as in terms of it being a fantastic example of a native broad leaf woodland in Scotland.

“Having worked on the project for the last few years, it has been a wonderful experience in terms of bringing together and engaging the local community around this ancient forest. The footfall within the woodland and on East Lothian’s path network has significantly increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic as many of our community use it as the main destination for daily recreational walks and outdoor exercise.

“Though it is a fantastic and hugely valuable asset, one of our central paths – an old railway line which is a key link between our woodland and other core path routes – has poor drainage which is causing accessibility challenges for some of our older and less able visitors. We’ve also had challenges with drainage from this area causing localised flooding.

“With Longyester Quarry on our doorstep, enabling us to minimise our environmental impact, and having been a customer of Tillicoultry Quarries myself, I hoped to secure some much-needed local business support to re-profile and maintain the drainage ditches using perforated pipework backfilled with 100 tonnes of gravel. They didn’t disappoint and we were delighted when they said yes.”

Wallace Menzies said,

“As a family business, Tillicoultry Quarries prides itself on giving back to local people, businesses and communities. It’s an important part of who we are as a company, as we know our successes are firmly rooted in the local communities which we work and live in.

“Given the environmental importance of the work being done at Gifford Community Woodland, it’s positive impacts on the local community – especially throughout Covid-19 – and with its proximity to our Longyester Quarry, we were only too pleased to offer our support. We wish Neville and the local community in East Lothian, the very best of luck in their endeavours with the woodland and look forward to seeing the project develop and add value to the local area for many years to come”

Neville went on,

“It’s fantastic to be supported to help solve this crucial drainage issue which is impacting our local communities. Without the support of our dedicated volunteers and local businesses like Tillicoultry Quarries, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we have done so far at Gifford Community Woodland. We’re really happy with the support we’ve received, and it will have such a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of many in our community. We are delighted to be able to complete this part of the project with the support of Tillicoultry Quarries.”