Loch Arkaig Tour for Scottish Environment Minister
Scottish Environment Minister Mairi McAllan MSP visited Loch Arkaig Pine Forest this week for a tour of our restoration work.
While there she met with Woodland Trust staff plus our most popular contractor – Tarzan the logging horse!
Tarzan is helping extract some of the 70,000 tonnes of non-native timber we are removing from the forest so the remaining ancient pines can reclaim the site. Some of the newest and most high-tech forestry equipment is in use at Loch Arkaig, but on tricky slopes and where we want to avoid too much disturbance of the forest floor – a horse is still the best method of removing logs.
Loch Arkaig Pine Forest has two of just 84 remaining fragments of ancient Caledonian pinewood in Scotland. Its ancient, wide-crowned ‘granny’ pines were in danger of dying out without reproducing – squeezed out by non-native commercial conifers planted in the 1960s.
It can be really difficult to get senior politicians out on site as they are so short of time, so we were really pleased to be able to secure this visit, which was a great success.