VIEWS are being sought on draft proposals for two afforestation schemes totalling 454 hectares in and around Claygate.
Scottish Woodlands Ltd is seeking the responses to the planting of two farms, Albierig and Glencartholm.
Of the 454 ha, it is planned to plant 341 ha, 75 per cent of the total land area.
Albierig comprises 302 ha, of which 221 ha (73%) will be planted.
Conifers will be planted on 177 ha (80%), while broadleaved trees will be planted on 44 ha (20%).
An open area of 69 ha (23%) will be kept. Twelve ha are outwith the scheme.
At Glencartholm 120 ha (79%) of the 152 ha will be planted.
Of this, there will be 99 ha (82%) of conifers and 21 (18%) of broadleaved trees.
There will be 22 ha (14%) of open land and 10 ha (7%) are outwith the scheme.
The land is owned by James Jones & Son of Lockerbie which bought a substantial acreage of farmland in Eskdale from Buccleuch a few years ago.
It has since put forward a number of commercial forestry planting projects, including Warbla in Langholm.
The views of the Claygate community are being sought at a public consultation event and through information sent to community councils and neighbours.
There is a drop-in session in Gilnockie hall today for neighbours but because of COVID-19 restrictions, this is for the immediate community only.
The draft proposals were presented to Canonbie community council last Thursday.
Anyone interested in the development can view the documents, which have already been presented to the community council, on Scottish Woodlands Ltd’s website at www.scottishwoodlands.co.uk/public-consultations
The password to access the Albierig and Glencartholm section is Albipine27
The documents also include an overview map of both properties, constraints maps, protection maps, draft design maps and a question / feedback form.
They are available for viewing online until June 30. Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed.
Carol Midwood, community council secretary, said Scottish Woodlands seemed to be trying to accommodate what the community wanted by creating new footpaths.
One resident suggested they leave the existing paths in place because everyone knew the old routes.
Views were expressed that it was a shame to plant trees on good agricultural land and they could work with farmers to graze cattle in the woodland but some people said the cattle would damage the trees.
Carol said: “Scottish Woodlands was open to hearing people’s ideas but, at the end of the day, the land has been bought to make a living, make a profit. But it’s a shame the farms are going.
“The trees won’t be planted all at the same time because they can’t fell them all at once.”
She added: “We’ll have to see what they come up with. We’ll be notified before it goes to Scottish Forestry.
“We’re attending the consultation and if they can’t accommodate some of the things we want, I’ll be asking them why.”
Alistair and Annie McDairmant live at The Tail, just outside Claygate on the Langholm road and will be surrounded by trees from the Glencartholm forest.
Annie said: “These fields used to be good hay fields and produced good barley crops when Alistair’s father had them.
“They were all drained but have all gone to rushes now. It’s a shame. All round here they have gone like that.”
She said they didn’t dislike living with trees and they would be a good distance from the road.
Originally, they were told the roadside hedges would not be cut and just left to go wild but had since heard they would be maintained.
On the whole, she thought there would be too many trees but the government was offering grants to grow them.