Campaign and environmental advice group AGreenerFestival have planted their first 300 trees in 'FESTIVAL WOOD' and say that hundreds more trees will be planted this year with support from founding festivals including two of Scotland's finest events, T-in-the-Park and Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, as well as Bestival, Yorkshire's Deer Shed Festival, End Of The Road festival and the Glastonbury Festival.
AGF's Helen Wright, Claire O'Neill and Ben Challis made the trip to Scotland to plant the trees, which included 100 trees donated by Big Green Coach from their coach trips to and from events in the 2011 festival season, and 100 trees from A Greener Festival's volunteer team. The Wood is a partnership with Trees for Life who are working to restore Dundreggan's forest. Dundreggan is a 10,000 acre area of wild land in Scotland near Loch Ness, between Inverness and Fort William, where Trees for Life are now working to restore native forests and wildlife habitats. Dundreggan has full public access, visitor parking and nature trails. Ben, Claire and Helen planted Aspens on a sloping hill that had already been planted with some hazel trees.
L-R Claire O'Neill, Ben Challis, Helen Wright
Claire O'Neill said "Festival Wood is a positive reforestation initiative from A Greener Festival. It is not an offset scheme. Festival Wood is an opportunity for the festival community to give something back to the great outdoors that we love to enjoy. A festival legacy that will grow and grow and be there for future generations"
Dundreggan will be a very different place in 50 years time. Natural woodland, with open glades intermingled with denser areas, will stretch up from the banks of the River Moriston. This diverse forest of oak, pine, aspen, hazel, juniper and birch will grade into montane scrub that will cover much of the higher slopes. Wildlife flourishing in this abundant woodland habitat will include red squirrel, capercaille, European Beaver, wild boar, osprey, badger, black grouse and wood ants. The wild boar were hiding when the AGF team got there - they tried to find them! Twinflower, creeping ladies tresses and other rare woodland plants will thrive. The forests of Dundreggan will no longer be isolated, but part of a larger expanse of native woodland from Glen Affric Nature Reserve in the north to Glan Moriston, and the shores of Loch Ness in the south east - a new Caledonian Forest.