A great deal of the pleasure we get from our walks is in appreciating the natural environment around us – the hills – the coasts – the farmland – the woodlands and forests – and all the living creatures that inhabit these natural environments. Most people now accept that climate change associated with the emission of greenhouse gases is threatening this precious natural world. Of course, we are aware that our trips in our car to walk locations create greenhouse gases. To help offset that negative impact we have arranged for a grove of trees to be planted on our behalf on a hillside near Loch Ness and we will be adding a tree to that grove every month.
We’ve also arranged so that anyone who enjoys the walks we publish on our Mack Walks website and Facebook page can also donate a tree to compensate for the trips they make to follow one of our walks. A donation of £6 pays for the planting of a native tree in the Scottish Highlands, storing away carbon for the rest of its natural lifespan. Each tree planted mitigates our recreational carbon footprint and also supports the local ecology and wildlife at the grove location. You can donate a tree to the Mack Walks grove on the Trees for Life website. If you wish, you can also add your name and a message. Click here to donate one or more trees.
Our Mack Walk trees will be planted at the Trees for Life hillside estate at Dundreggan near Loch Ness. Dundreggan includes pinewoods, birch and juniper woodlands, bogs, wetlands and wildflower meadows. The Dundreggan woodland is rewilding the Highland landscape in Glenmoriston, linking to neighbouring Glen Affric, one of the largest ancient Caledonian pine woods in Scotland. The trees planted on your behalf in the Mack Walks grove will be saplings grown from locally collected seed and grown on in the Dundreggan Tree Nursery. They will be one of a number of species that grow naturally in the area, such as alder, aspen, birch, bird cherry, hazel, holly, rowan, Scots pine or willow. The selected tree will be appropriate to the soil, and the aspect and altitude, and the trees are not planted in rows like commercial plantations but in a way that reflects the natural distribution of trees.
The creation of woodland is so important for wildlife: for birds such as crested tits and woodpeckers; animals like red squirrels and pine martins; butterflies and dragonflies; woodland flowers; mosses and lichens; and the underpinning network of fungi that recycle nutrients and improve the soil, allowing it to store more carbon. By removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and locking it up, year on year, trees do so much to help to combat climate change.
Please consider helping to make a difference in tackling rapid climate change by supporting the Mack Walks grove. You could make a one-off donation of a tree to the grove – or perhaps an occasional donation – or maybe even a donation every time you follow one of our walks? You can also set up a Direct Debit to make a regular donation.