Help­ing trees to take root on isles

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - NEWS -

A project is un­der way to bring back vast ar­eas of na­tive wood­land to the West­ern Isles.

De­for­esta­tion has taken place for cen­turies across the Outer He­brides with Vik­ings, cli­mate change and crop ex­pan­sion all partly to blame.

But The He­bridean Ark aims to re­vive the tree pop­u­la­tion and have 100,000 more na­tive saplings around Har­ris and Lewis by 2020.

David Mackay, of Shaw­bost-based Hor­shader Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment, has been lead­ing the project.

He said: “We’re try­ing to bring back trees that have al­ways been here, they’re part of the He­brides.

“The ge­net­ics of th­ese trees have a time­line go­ing back 2,000 years on the is­lands – they’re hardy, like the peo­ple here.”

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