People's Postcode Lottery Ambassador Fiona Phillips was thrilled to get the chance to explore remote areas of the iconic Ben Shieldaig with the Woodland Trust, who, with help from our players, recently bought the mountain.
Fiona was joined by some local winners of People's Postcode Lottery, to find out more about the charity's future plans for the area.
The Woodland Trust aims to raise £3.4 Million to manage this special project over the next 20 years. Our players will be contributing £600,000 to the appeal, having already provided £200,000 towards the mountain's purchase price of £1.6 Million.
Fiona said, "This is such a special project and I feel very privileged to have been given the chance to explore remote areas of Ben Shieldaig with the Woodland Trust team. I was amazed to discover the mountain is home to an area of Scotland's rainforest, a rare habitat and a place of much natural beauty and rain!"
A Globally Important Habitat
Malcolm Turner, the Woodland Trust's Ben Shieldaig project manager, said, "It's a globally important habitat and we are excited to conserve and protect it for generations to come. We really are grateful for the support from players of People's Postcode Lottery for helping us to buy the mountain and for supporting ongoing management costs.
"The woodland here is a great resource for wildlife and people and we want to provide opportunities for visitors to enjoy it. We still need to consult with local people but hope to encourage recreational access in future, perhaps building a small car park, path and viewpoint."
Woodland Trust aims to protect and expand the unique and valuable existing native woodland at Ben Shieldaig through a combination of natural regeneration, new native planting and effective deer management.
With its summit at 534m Ben Shieldaig covers around 3,800 acres set in the dramatic Torridon landscape within the Wester Ross National Scenic Area.
Local winners of People's Postcode Lottery are pleased that they've played a part in supporting this fantastic project on their doorstep.
Helen, who scooped £60,000 last year with her previous Balmacara postcode, has been able to make her own significant purchase with her win.
The NHS radiographer, originally from the Scottish Borders, said, "I've been able to buy my first house thanks to winning People's Postcode Lottery and it's fantastic that the Woodland Trust has been able to buy Ben Shieldaig - it's a great cause and great for the community. The Highlands is my permanent home now and it's everything I've ever wanted."
Lynn from Shieldaig, who runs local café Nanny's, won £5,000 ten years ago. She said, "Sometimes you can live in the middle of all this and you don't fully appreciate what's there, so I think the community has welcomed the fact that the Woodland Trust has had the opportunity to buy the mountain."
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