ISLES CROFT WOODLAND PROJECT EXTENDED FOR 5 YEARS
The Croft Woodland project in the Western Isles is to be extended for a further five-years following a successful first phase, resulting in 100,000 trees being planted in 51 villages across the islands with the support of Point and Sandwick Trust (P.S.T.)
The community wind farm charity will fund a second phase with a budget of £400,000 over five years. A total of 103 schemes have been planted so far and the 51 villages which have taken part are spread across five islands – Lewis, Harris, Barra, South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist.
Former MP Calum MacDonald who piloted the first Crofter Forestry Act through Parliament in the 1990s before turning community wind farm developer is delighted at the new wave of crofter forestry in the islands supported by the Trust.
He said: “It’s obvious that there is a huge amount of pent-up demand in the islands and that’s why we’ve decided now that we shall renew the scheme and confirmed the funding for the next five years – but eventually we are probably talking about a 20-year commitment, that will have a transformative effect on the biodiversity and the landscape of the Western Isles and the amenity for the communities.”
Read more: Local News for Thursday 16th May 2019
DEPOSIT RETURN SCHEME MAY COME TO THE ISLANDS
Western Isles SNP MSP Alasdair Allan recently questioned the Scottish Government on how proposals for a Deposit Return Scheme will apply to island communities like the Western Isles.
Deposit return schemes, are a way of reducing litter and increasing recycling, where consumers pay a small deposit that is fully refundable once the empty bottle is returned.
The islands MSP was questioning Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP during a Ministerial statement in the Scottish Parliament outlining how Scotland’s new Deposit Return Scheme will work. It will include aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic with a 20p deposit as part of plans to combat climate change.
Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:
‘Deposit return schemes will have an important role to play in curbing litter.
‘It is important the scheme into account people in island communities who may have to travel long distances to the nearest shop. It was therefore welcome to hear the Cabinet Secretary’s confirmation that there will be scope within the scheme for communal return points to be set up, at community centres or schools for example, to make it easier for people to return items.
‘Keeping our local environment litter-free is especially important in the islands, given the natural beauty of our landscape.’
Read more: Local News for Tuesday 14th May 2019