20,000 native trees to be planted at East Lothian site

Murray Kerr, Managing Director at RootOne East

A LOCAL East Lothian based company has assisted Cala Homes to turn one of the area’s largest developments into a green haven, transforming former farmland with the inclusion of thousands of native trees.  

Cala Homes (East) has called on East Lothian firm Root One East Ltd to support a major biodiversity push at its Letham Mains development, in which more than 20,000 native species trees and hedges are being planted, including birch, oak, hawthorn and willow trees. 

Root One East Ltd has also completed the final of three pedestrian bridges on the site, built to boost connectivity and walking routes over the Letham Burn. The final bridge will connect the new development to the older Burnside development to the East of the development.  

The company was founded in 2009 and initially specialised in soft landscape implementation and maintenance disciplines. Since 2016, the firm has diversified to include fencing & civil engineering works for varied housing, retail & construction clients.  

It marked a poignant moment for Murray Kerr, a neighbour of the site and Managing Director of Root One East Ltd. He jumped at the opportunity to build the bridges at Letham Mains, after fond memories of his father building a similar footbridge at East Links on the John Muir Way in the 1970s. 

Murray said: “Having grown up in the area, I have fond memories of the landscapes around Haddington and wanted to help enhance the natural habitat in the area. 

“Planting over 20,000 native trees and plants will completely transform the watercourse into a flourishing wildlife corridor for residents and locals to enjoy. 

“Building the footbridges across the Letham Burn has been a particularly special project for me, and I must thank Cala and East Lothian Council for allowing Root One to design and build the bridges, a job I will never forget. 

“At Root One East Ltd, we pride ourselves on partnering with developers like Cala who share our commitment to sustainability and community and we’re really proud of our work across the site.”

To date, Root One East has planted around 20,000 trees throughout the development. The Musselburgh based firm has also introduced extra fruit trees, fruit bushes and bulbs including apple, cherry, wild garlic, daffodil and many more. 

Mixed species hedges have been planted along the Pencaitland Road to include hawthorn, maple & holly – the hedges are likely to provide great nesting bird habitats. 

Derek Lawson, Land Director at Cala Homes (East) said: “Like all our sites, we wanted to create a community at Letham Mains and a development that integrates seamlessly with the Haddington area.

“The work Root One East has done at Letham Mains shows how housing developers and local specialists can collaborate meaningfully to create developments that have a profound community benefit.” 

The Letham Mains masterplan has delivered 810 homes, a primary school, a civic square and linear park in addition to a multipurpose sports pavilion for the school and surrounding community which is currently being built. 

For more information on Cala’s projects in East Lothian, please visit;

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