Brexit holding up environmental development

East Block woodland, Loch Arkaig, Scotland, looking south.

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A proposal by Highland Council to ask the UK and Scottish Governments to set up a Carbon Sink Fund is being put on hold due to uncertainty around the make-up of the governments in the coming months.

The area already soaks up large amounts of carbon through trees and moorland, offsetting the heavy industry of areas like Falkirk, but councillors think more can be done.

Councillor Denis Rixson told the Lochaber Times that this initiative would have to wait. He said: ‘I don’t want a letter to be sent to the environment secretary when they are out of office next week. I haven’t started canvassing up here yet about it, but I think timing is critical and I don’t want to get drowned by Brexit.’

Including tree planting in planning applications for wind farms and hydro-electric plants was indicated by Councillor Ben Thompson. He said the council had ‘missed a trick’ as this could offset complaints about them causing an eyesore.

Council leader Margaret Davidson highlighted that the EU has been the major funder of tree planting in Highlands over the past 40 years, but there are many more opportunities still exist.