MORE than 20,000 trees are being planted to create “a green haven” at the heart of a new housing development.

Hundreds of new homes are being built at Letham Mains on the western edge of Haddington.

Cala Homes (East) are among the housebuilders at the site, which is also home to Letham Mains Primary School, and have called in Musselburgh-based Root One East Ltd to support a major biodiversity push.

Thousands of native species of trees and hedges are being planted, including birch, oak, hawthorn and willow trees.

Root One East Ltd has also completed the last of three pedestrian bridges on the site, built to improve links and walking routes over the Letham Burn.

The final bridge connects the new development to the older Burnside estate to the east of the development.

Murray Kerr, a neighbour of the site and managing director of Root One East Ltd, 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 what is now the John Muir Way in the 1970s.

He 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 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 about 20,000 trees throughout the development.

The county 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 Pencaitland Road to include hawthorn, maple and holly, with hopes that the hedges provide great nesting bird habitats.

Derek Lawson, land director at Cala Homes (East), said: “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.”