Impossible dream

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As Roy Turnbull says (Letters, 28 March), if we had the luxury of time to wait for large-scale reductions in herbivores, then Scotland’s native forests could return by natural regeneration alone.

In the meantime, planting of trees can be both appropriate and necessary.

To seek a pure Caledonian Forest somehow unsullied by human hand and maintained only by natural regeneration, as some previous correspondents have suggested, is to chase an illusion.

I’m not aware of any such forest in Scotland, or that one has existed over the past millennium and more.

What I do know is that the planting efforts of bodies such as Trees for Life have achieved significant expansion of forest areas with a “Caledonian” mix of trees and wildlife. This work has been an inspiration for many and a boost for scarce plants and creatures.

To hold back from it on the basis of pursuing a notion of some long-vanished Caledonian Eden is to miss both the point and the opportunity.

(Dr) Kenny Taylor

Culbokie

Black Isle, Ross-shire