A group of rewilding enthusiasts have undertaken voluntary isolation in order to ensure a tree planting project in the Scottish Highlands would go ahead.
Plans to plant 100,000 trees in the Glenmoriston area of the Scottish Highlands were almost scrapped in March as coronavirus lockdown restrictions appeared likely to prevent volunteers from participating. However, a group of six volunteers working for the Trees for Life organisation have voluntarily self-isolated at the charity’s Dundreggan rewilding estate to ensure the native young trees would not be lost.
The trees, including rare mountain species such as dwarf birch and woolly willow among others, have all been grown carefully from seed in the organisation’s specialised nursery and were due for planting out on the hills this spring. When the Scottish government announced a national lockdown, the team of volunteers made the decision to stay at the nursery to care for the plants rather than returning to their homes.
“The coronavirus crisis forced the postponement of this spring’s tree planting – meaning tens of thousands of young trees have not left our nursery as planned,” said Doug Gilbert, Trees for Life’s Dundreggan Manager, in a statement.
“But nature isn’t in lockdown. All these precious trees have been coming into leaf, and we need to take care of them.”
The volunteers are not only planting these young trees, but also sowing new seeds to ensure their supply of trees for future planting seasons. The group has established nearly two million native trees across the Scottish Highlands to date.
- Find out more about the work the Trees of Life group are undertaking to rewild the Scottish Highlands.
- Get involved in tree planting efforts in your local area by registering or joining a site as part of National Tree Day.
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