A popular Skye attraction is to help safeguard dozens of endangered trees as they join forces with Scotland’s leading conservationists.
Armadale Castle, Gardens and Museum in Sleat has joined forces with experts from the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh (RBGE) to help safeguard the future of conifer trees.
Conifers are of major importance worldwide, however more than 34% of the species are under threat of extinction.
More than 100 endangered conifer trees will be planted within the grounds of the 20,000 acre estate, once part of the traditional lands of Clan Donald, becoming one of more than 200 ‘safe sites’ where endangered tree species are able to flourish.
A number of the trees, grown from seeds in the central belt, will be planted this autumn, with the remainder being planted next spring.
Andrew Peters, Gardens Consultant at Armadale Castle, said: “This new partnership is a major step on the way to us achieving our long term aim of creating an internationally recognised arboretum and woodland garden at Armadale, with conservation at its core. It enables us to build on our important existing collection and create a lasting legacy for future generations.”
The project forms part of the International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP), established by the Edinburgh attraction in 1991.
The new additions are set to complement the existing planting at Armadale’s 40 acre woodland garden, which is widely recognised for its fine collection of trees. These include a number of specimens from the 1870s and earlier, as well as a number of more recently planted exotic species which thrive in the sheltered climate of south Skye.
Martin Gardner of RBGE and ICCP added: “The sheltered aspect of the Gardens makes it especially suitable for many of the conifers it will be growing as part of an international effort to help guard against the loss of these species in the wild.”