Lottery funding of £3/4m for ancient Caledonian woodland

The Woodland Trust's appeal to secure the future of a vast remnant pine forest in the Scottish Highlands has been boosted by a £750,000 award from the People's Postcode Lottery.

Image: Vince Smith (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Vince Smith (CC BY 2.0)

The award takes the trust halfway to its target of £4.5 million to buy and restore Loch Arkaig pine forest north of Fort William, in partnership with Arkaig Community Forest (see HW 8 April).

Described as one of the largest remaining single fragments of ancient Caledonian pinewood in Scotland, the 1,000-hectare forest is being sold by Forest Enterprise Scotland under the National Forest Land Scheme which gives community organisations the chance to buy land where this will provide increased public value.

The Loch Arkaig funding is part of a £2.3m lottery funding package backing the work of the Woodland Trust throughout Scotland, England and Wales, including supporting free tree packs for schools and community groups, and Green Tree Schools Awards.

Woodland Trust chief executive Beccy Speight said: "Wherever players are in Britain they will be supporting tree planting and protection of woods in their own area – while helping secure and restore this venerable old forest at Loch Arkaig."

Non-native conifers will be slowly removed from the forest over the next 20 years, while enabling wildlife tourism is intended to boost the local economy.

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