Impossible dream

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.

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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


Black Isle, Ross-shire