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A tree planting scheme in the Outer Hebrides has been saved from the brink of collapse following the break in the power cable between Lewis and Harris and the mainland.
Community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust set up the Outer Hebrides Croft Woodlands Project in 2016, in partnership with the Woodland Trust and others, but has been left without any income for up to 18 months as it cannot export its power due to the cable failure.
The disaster forced the wind farm organisation to suspend its programme of grants to good causes, including the Outer Hebrides Croft Woodlands Project, but the Woodlands Trust has now stepped into the breach, agreeing to fund the project for a year to allow the work to continue.
The move keeps Croft Woodlands Project Officer Viv Halcrow in post, secures the plantation of around 50,000 trees in croft land throughout the Hebrides in the 2020/21 planting season, and enables the momentum of this ‘legacy’ project to continue.
Viv said: ‘This will be the fifth planting season and it’s been really good. It’s a very positive project, I think, and it would have been really sad if it had folded because there are so many people who are keen to plant but wouldn’t have had the background know-how to make it happen.’