The tree farm in the Flow Country

Cal Flyn reports for Granta magazine on Scotland’s Flow Country, where regiments of tax-deductible conifers were planted in peat bogs in the 1980s, and where the RSPB is now trying to restore what was lost:

“The peatlands are timeless and time-rich both, the story of the Holocene threaded through the fabric of its foundations: the pollen of plants that wafted on the air 4,000 years ago are all carefully filed away in this natural archive. Further down, the preserved remains of the roots of trees – silver, skeletal fingers – which once carpeted these now deserted heaths. Here they are long gone, but further up the line there are plenty of trees – controversial trees – some still alive and queueing up in their long lines, many more recently deceased, lining ditches in their thousands, sinking back into the earth after their disastrous parlay into the north.”

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