Celtic rainforest full of magic and mystery

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Two conservation charities have joined forces to share the secrets of one of the UK’s richest and most mysterious habitats – the Celtic rainforest.
The National Trust for Scotland, the charity that conserves and promotes Scotland’s heritage, and Plantlife Scotland, an organisation that is speaking up for our wild flowers, plants and fungi, are holding an event at Balmacara in Wester Ross which will explore the flora that thrives in the damp, ancient forests of Scotland.
National Trust for Scotland ranger at Balmacara estate, Gavin Skipper said: ‘You do not have to travel to Brazil to experience a rainforest. There are amazing examples of the Celtic rainforest on Scotland’s West Coast. They are teeming with life and just as fascinating.
‘We hope that this initiative highlights these beautiful habitats to more people and encourages them out to explore.’
Polly Phillpot, Plantlife Scotland outreach officer, said: ‘Plantlife is delighted to be working with the National Trust for Scotland in welcoming people to enjoy the mysterious and magical world of Scotland’s unique Celtic rainforests.
‘We hope that the guided walks and leaflet we’re launching will attract
an increasing amount of people to discover the hidden gems of the Celtic rainforests – small plants such as the tree lungwort lichen or the delicate prickly featherwort, which is a species of liverwort.
‘Many of the lichens, mosses and liverworts that are found in these rainforests are very rare in Europe, and some are globally important.
‘Plantlife seeks to shine a brighter light on these amazing small plants, including rare lichens such as the Norwegian specklebelly, a UK priority species, which is found at Coille Mhór.’