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Planting saplings in the west Highlands, it’s hard to keep one’s mind off the passing of time

What was the world like, when last these slopes were dense with woodland? What will the world be like when these seedlings are full grown?

By Cal Flyn   April 2019

Planting trees in the west Highlands. Illustration by Kate Hazell

Over the last two winters, I’ve spent a bit of time in the west Highlands helping my friend Louise with a reforestation project at Ben Damph, near Torridon. It’s beautiful there: the hills great curving shapes upholstered in tweed, carefully creased with the tracks of the deer and the sheep.

And it is because of those deer and those sheep that the landscape is as it is: treeless and sparse, the thin line of the horizon delineating…

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