Players pave way for Loch Arkaig restoration

We are delighted to announce that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are the lead funders of our Loch Arkaig Pine Forest restoration fund.  Players have now provided over £1.5 million towards our ancient woodland restoration work at this spectacular and historic Highland forest.

This is the latest good news in Woodland Trust’s long-running relationship with players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The numbers really are remarkable. As of this month, we can reveal the Trust will receive £2.4 million from 2017 draws, taking the total funding from players to a phenomenal £6.1 million since 2010!

We feel in great company with the many wonderful charities supported by players. A total of £237 million has gone to good causes.

Lock Arkaig on a rare windless day. (Photo: John MacPherson/WTML)
Lock Arkaig on a rare windless day. (Photo: John MacPherson/WTML)

Loch Arkaig on Film

To celebrate the latest good news for Loch Arkaig, People’s Postcode Lottery staff made a fantastic film when they visited the forest to meet local people and find out more about our plans:

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As you can see, players' funding is supporting not only one of the biggest and most ambitious ancient woodland restoration projects ever undertaken by the Trust, but also the sustainability and economic resilience of the local community.

We have partnered with Arkaig Community Forest - a group of local residents who share our ambitious, far-reaching and long-term goals for the 2,500 acre site. They have been instrumental in enabling the Trust to acquire Loch Arkaig Pine Forest and own two parcels of land (approx. 50ha) within the woods.

Arkaig’s woods truly are a Scottish rainforest.  (Photo: John MacPherson/WTML)
Arkaig’s woods truly are a Scottish rainforest. (Photo: John MacPherson/WTML)

The Loch Arkaig Pine Forest consists of two blocks of native Caledonian woodland: Coille a Ghuibhais (the pine forest), known as South Loch Arkaig; and An t-Seann Fhrith (the old deer forest), known as Glen Maillie. The site is near Spean Bridge in the Scottish Highlands, 16km (10 miles) north of Fort William.

Oak, hazel and alder skirt the loch, while Scots pine dominates the higher reaches. There is birch too, and ancient pollarded holly bushes once tended by cattle drovers to provide winter fodder. The site is brimming with wildlife. Pine marten, red deer and wild boar roam. Flying overhead are a range of Britain’s birds of prey, from the very smallest, the merlin, to our very largest, the sea eagle, as well as osprey and golden eagle. There are signs of red squirrel although they are seldom seen, and we hope to one day find that most elusive of our native animals – the wildcat.

One of Arkaig’s ancient “granny” pines.  (Photo: John MacPherson/WTML).
One of Arkaig’s ancient “granny” pines. (Photo: John MacPherson/WTML).

Over the next 20 years, we will gradually remove non-native species, increasing the resilience of the forest and its long-term chance of survival. It is important work, made possible by our funders, led by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. A huge thank you to them all!

You can help ensure native trees flourish at Loch Arkaig once more.

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