Local News for Tuesday 19th September 2017
Bid to bring back forests
Climate change and hardy survivors of the islands could be the key to bringing back forests to the Western Isles. A new project headed by Horshader Community Development Trust is looking to save seed from surviving native trees and to plant them as part of a project called Hebridean Ark. David Mackay of the trust, who’s been planting trees himself for over 25 years, says deforestation started with the Vikings chopping down trees, and was also spread by the need of the population for space to grow crops. But now, he says: "We're trying to bring back trees that have always been here, they're part of the Hebrides. The genetics of these trees have a timeline going back 2,000 years on the islands - they're hardy, like the people here." Species which could re-establish include rowan, birch and juniper, all of which have surviving examples in isolated spots around the islands.
Read more: Local News for Tuesday 19th September 2017
Local News for Monday 18th September 2017
No wolves in Lewis – official
Wildlife rescue workers have responded angrily to a report of wolves in the Castle grounds, which they described as ‘sensational and reckless’. The Western Isles co-ordinator of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, David Yardley, used Facebook to slam the Sun newspaper’s report of ‘wolves howling’ in an area described as ‘forest’ opposite Stornoway. A Stornoway Hotel manager had reported the eerie sounds and went to the press with his story, although numerous local sources confirmed the sounds as seals calling in the harbour. David Yardley said: “We confirmed the sounds as grey seals and made this clear to him. We've notified the coastguard and the grounds keeper in the past as to what they were, after receiving a number of calls to an animal in distress. These actions cause confusion among the public that we as BDMLR are required to respond to. The day we don't respond could be the day someone loses a pet. “
Read more: Local News for Monday 18th September 2017