The Fulbright Commission (http://www.fulbright.co.uk) had come to us via our friends at the US Consulate in Edinburgh who have been great supporters of our Trees4TwoNations campaign to link up cities in the US with cities and communities in Scotland.
There was immediate synergy as the Fulbright Commission is all about fostering mutual understanding through educational exchange between our two nations. They are a very prestigious organisation and we were honoured to have them as our guests and to be able to impart some of our knowledge about how communities are tackling climate change as well as some hands on expertise in regards to planting trees.
Check out these quick facts about the Fulbright Alumni:
- Within the global Fulbright programme, 28 alumni have served as head of state or government
- 11 Fulbright alumni have been elected to US Congress
- 1 Fulbright alumnus has served as Secretary-General of the UN
- 43 Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have received the Nobel Prize, including 2 in 2010
- 78 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes
The day began with a talk at Cultybraggan Camp by Comrie which has recently been purchased by the village community and acts as an eco centre for the village. A former WW2 POW camp housing category A prisoners (mainly Nazi SS), Cultybraggan spent much of its post war years as a cadet training camp. It also played a role during the Cold War and plays host to a nuclear bunker that whose intention was to house Scottish Government officials in the event of a nuclear attack.
In 2007 the MOD decided to sell Cultybraggan and it was purchased by the village community to be developed as an eco centre (amongst other things) for the village of Comrie. The project will be a model of sustainable development for rural communities across Scotland.
Following the talk by Comrie Development Trust board member, Chris Palmer, the Fulbright scholars were taken on a tour of the camp before a short transfer to Teaghlach Wood for some tree planting activities.
As you can see by the photos the whole group got stuck in and had a great time – with 150 trees getting planted. They learned about different tree varieties, planting techniques and how to manage woodlands. These Dirty Hands Days aim to be educational and fun and the day was rounded off perfectly with a couple of pints at the Royal Hotel in Comrie!