ENDANGERED trees from thousands of kilometres away have found a home in a North Berwick park.

A small area within the historic Lodge Grounds is now home to the threatened trees, which hail from Chile, Morocco and the west coast of Scotland.

The initiative is a partnership between East Lothian Council; green-fingered volunteers from North Berwick in Bloom; and the International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP), which is based at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Over the last 27 years, ICCP have worked in more than 50 countries around the world.

Just beyond the entrance from Quality Street are two information boards, funded by the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust (UK), telling the story of why these trees are at risk in their native habitats.

The information boards also explain why there is good reason they should take up residence in North Berwick.

The trees include Fitzroya cupressoides – a giant conifer of the Andes, which can live for more than 3,000 years and attain a height of 70m.

The giant tree is named after Robert FitzRoy, the captain of HMS Beagle, which took Charles Darwin on his historic voyage of scientific discovery.

Nearby is a group of rare Moroccan cypress from a valley in the High Atlas Mountains.

Also represented are four different species of whitebeam from the Isle of Arran, one of which is down to a single individual on the island.

Martin Gardiner, ICCP coordinator, explained the significance of the North Berwick plantings.

He said: “Growing threatened trees such as these away from logging, forest fires and other threats they face in the wild is providing a valuable ‘safety net’ for the future survival of these species.

“This small area in the Lodge is an important demonstration of how trees are crucial to life on Earth and why it is important we all play a part in conserving them for future generations.”

East Lothian horticulturist Stan da Prato, who played a key role in securing the plantings for North Berwick, added: “This is a good example of what can be achieved when volunteers, local authorities and specialist organisations all work together.”