Aberdeenshire National Lottery winners support tree-mendous project in Scottish Highlands

Green-fingered National Lottery winners Sheila and Duncan Davidson visited the heart of the Scottish Highlands today to help plant trees in a bid to support the restoration of the Caledonian Forest.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 7:45 am
National Lottery winners Sheila and Duncan Davidson volunteering at Trees for Life (Pic: Paul Campbell)
National Lottery winners Sheila and Duncan Davidson volunteering at Trees for Life (Pic: Paul Campbell)

The Bridge of Alford couple joined a group of Scottish winners yesterday at the Trees for Life rewilding estate in Dundreggan to play their part in reducing the impact of climate change by planting trees in the regenerating forest.

The winners spent time on site embracing the wonders of nature and learning about the work of the charity.

Kat Murphy, Education Manager and Paul Greaves, Training Programme Manager led the group through a series of educational tours, including through the tree nursery, before exploring the Rewilding Centre which is set to open in 2023.

Sheila and Duncan, who won £4,520,123 on a lucky dip ticket in February 2012, were joined by Fred and Lesley Higgins, originally from Laurencekirk, who won £57,975,367 on EuroMillions in July 2018; Libby Elliot from Fife who won £2,159,664 in August 2012; and Jim and Pam Forbes from Tayport who won £655,838 on EuroMillions in September 2017.

Speaking of their visit, the Davidsons said: “As big outdoor lovers it was a no-brainer for us to get involved in supporting the project.

"We’re blessed to live in a country as beautiful as Scotland so it’s important that we all play our part in protecting its natural environment and the wildlife species that live in it.”

Established in 1993, Trees for Life aims to help the regeneration of the Caledonian Forest which once covered a large area of the Scottish Highlands.

After years of natural and man-made destruction, the new wild forests will help reduce the impacts of climate change by storing carbon and preventing flooding and erosion.

The charity has received over £1M in National Lottery funding since 2007 to help support several projects to rewild the Scottish Highlands, with Dundreggan being the most significant to date.

Home to over 4,000 species of plants and animals, the Dundreggan estate provides a base for volunteers, academics and researchers to conduct important work in protecting many rare and protected species.

As part of this, the charity is building a Rewilding Centre which will welcome a larger and more diverse audience to discover the restored landscape through a variety of immersive experiences.

Kat Murphy, Education Manager at Dundreggan Rewilding Centre, said: “Scotland is known for its dramatic scenery and deep-rooted heritage, which we're working to protect here at Trees for Life.

"Together with our trainees, volunteers and supporters, we're restoring the landscape to protect nature against climate change and ensure a better future for people and wildlife.

"The Centre will enable more people to be part of this rewilding journey.

“We’re extremely grateful for The National Lottery funding throughout the years and to the winners for joining us this week to learn about our vital work at Dundreggan Rewilding Estate.”