Planting Trees In Scotland At The Shores Of Loch Eriboll

croft in summer planting trees in Scotland

Planting Trees In Scotland At The Shores Of Loch Eriboll

On a mission to plant millions of trees worldwide, we are happy to share with you behind the scene story how we started planting trees in Scotland. I met Johnny Dale via Facebook and got curious about a great number of nature photos he was posting and environmental topics he was covering. Indeed, my guess was correct: Johnny was planting trees!

Who is Johnny Dale?


Johnny Dale

“My name is Jonathan Dale. I inherited a croft from my Grandparents Jean and Donald Mackay, on the shores of Loch Eriboll 10 miles from Durness in Sutherland and my Papa was born in the croft house. For many years the croft lay dormant, rough heather and bog good only for our Peat Cutting. After much thought, and advice from a Chartered Forester, I decided to take his advice and allow him to plant trees. A big Feat! with so much of the ground conditions poor. After much testing, planting started around 2012. A joy to watch, my grandfather would have been proud to see 3 JCBS Diggers working on the new deer fence. On to the mounding planting for the trees: Downy Birch, Alder for Nitrogen fixing, Whitebeam, Oak, Rowan, Hawthorn, Wild Cherry.

This has been the start of a wonderful journey which has given me a new outlook on crofting life. While I study my croft now, still a work in progress, I reflect on how hard it must have been for previous generations. For example not always running water, and in the 1970s no electricity working with tilley lamps. Big changes, but still much progress needed for this forgotten part of Scotland and indeed for the Scottish Highlands in general. I enclose for you a photo, of some trees growing in the poorest conditions. I watch with pleasure, and amazement.”

We are happy to welcome Johnny Dale on board with Legacy Tree as Operations Manager Scotland.

The New Tree Planting Site In Scotland

In 2012 Johnny received Governmental Grant money for planting 1300 trees in his croft and will continue planting trees with Legacy Tree. The croft is located on the shores of Loch Eriboll, Laid Sutherland. Downy birch, Juniper, Pine and Oak trees will be planted here.

croft in summer

There is plenty of water in the area; however the soil needs a lot of fertilizer. Johnny has developed his optimal way of planting the trees from the seed. He is gathering seaweed and adding generous amounts of it to the soil while planting. Johnny is fertilizing the trees several times per year. He is weeding them and pruning whenever necessary. Usually it takes at least 3 years for the tree planted from the seed to grow strong enough roots so that it survives independently under Highland weather conditions. Yes, it’s a lot of work, and Johnny loves it. Connecting with nature through planting trees is very important for him.    

We are looking forward to see the baby Legacy Trees popping up in the croft!  


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