Four intrepid volunteers arrived on Eigg on Monday the 10th, survived a week of extreme weathers, planted 2000 trees and I never heard one complaint all week!!
Day 1 - A beautiful day, slightly chilli with showers but in-between the sun was in full shine blasting away the winter cobwebs and recharging our own battery power as well as the PV panels for Eigg Electric! We gathered round Eigg’s own tree man, Wes, who showed us all a demo of how to plant a tree….We started planting in the Larch. Before long we soon got the hang of it and had an effective system and rhythm to work to. The hardest part of day one was figuring out which way was the right way for the tree guards otherwise the trees could get smothered. We made good headway for day 1 and finished on a high plus a good top up of Vitamin D!
Day 2 – Started with a lot of snow!! Well I say ‘a lot of snow’ it was actually only a few centimetres but for Eigg standards that is a lot! Snow was forecasted but normally it never lies on Eigg until you are having the first conservation holiday planting trees…. Again our volunteers were amazing, never complained and embraced the day and had another productive day under the circumstances but finished with very dubious looks and a question of “what weather can we expect for tomorrow!”
Day 3 – Well the snow was gone but a force 5 gale was in its place whipping through the field, but again the team ploughed through and we managed to get the majority of the Larch planted in allowing us to start planting in an area of Scots Pine. It was brilliant to be able to look at something other than a bare wee stick which is what the Larch looked like and then the Scots Pine was a welcome bushy green change!
Day 4 & the final day – The weather was calm, snow free and shower free, ALL DAY!! All the Scots pine got planted in, a trial area of Hornbeam and a wee outer line of Cherry were planted before lunch and after lunch we laid out, cleared and planted in an area of Douglas Fir. By the end of the day and week a total of 2000 trees have been replanted into our forestry. In the organising stages of this week I knew the weather was going to be the biggest obstacle but in no way did I expect quite such extremes! I would like to thank the locals that braved it out to assist but the full appreciation has to go to Ian, Douglas, Roxanne and Serene that travelled to Eigg especially for our first conservation holiday week and gave their 200% enthusiasm, commitment and cheer throughout the whole week. It was an absolute pleasure meeting you all and working through rain and shine!! Thank you.