Iona croft and hostel wins carbon neutral award

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A croft on the Isle of Iona has been awarded a commendation in Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2019.

The small croft, Lagandorain, which includes the island’s hostel, was shortlisted in the category of Farm Woodland Award.

The hostel, pictured below, earned the award due to the five-acre mixed woodland surrounding it.

In 2000 when John MacLean arrived at Lagandorain, there were very few trees in sight. In fact, Iona has been virtually treeless for the past 1,500 years. In an effort to improve the biodiversity and amenity of the croft and due to a love of trees, John started planting them in 2002 with the help of forester Marc Broach-Stevens.

John, who owns Iona Hostel has worked alongside the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GBTS) over many years and the hostel has been awarded their prestigious Gold Award for 14 consecutive years, as well as being twice voted as Scotland’s best Eco Hostel.

John said: ‘The woodland is so beautiful. Trees improve the biodiversity and amenity of the croft and create a new haven for all sorts of birds and beasties. GTBS has been very encouraging over the years and has calculated that thanks largely to the woodland, Iona Hostel is now ‘carbon neutral’ in terms of offsetting its own emissions. This demonstrates that even the smallest of projects can make an environmental difference.’