Conservation charity Trees for Life has announced details of its volunteers' weeks for 2013 - working holidays that offer people the opportunity to help restore areas of native Caledonian forest in the Scottish Highlands.
Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life's Executive Director, said:
'The Year of Natural Scotland is the perfect time to enjoy Nature and wild Scotland, and to take action to restore the Caledonian Forest and its unique wildlife. Our 2013 Conservation Weeks offer an inspiring hands on conservation experience in breathtaking Highlands scenery of mountains, forest and rivers.'
Trees for Life is restoring the Caledonian Forest to a spectacular wild region of 1000 square miles in the Highlands to the west of Loch Ness and Inverness.
The award-winning weeks will allow people from all sorts of backgrounds and experience to directly help in the restoration of Scotland's equivalent of a rainforest, says the charity. Trees for Life is running Conservation Weeks at eight locations in the Highlands between mid-March and November.
Conservation Weeks suit all abilities and anyone over 18 years old can take part. There is no upper age limit, but the work can be physically demanding, so volunteers need a reasonable level of fitness. Weeks concentrating on work in the charity's tree nursery at its Dundreggan Estate offer a gentler option.
Natalie Allain, who volunteered in Glen Affric, said:
'My experience volunteering with Trees for Life was nothing but positive. I came away with a new love for the Scottish Highlands, a heightened respect for the majesty of trees and some great new friends'
The charity has just produced a short film that shows what its volunteers have achieved, and how the long decline of the Caledonian Forest is being reversed through their work.
Although only a fraction of the former Caledonian Forest now survives, Trees for Life has so far planted more than one million trees at dozens of locations, creating 10,000 acres of new forest.
'We have pledged to establish one million more trees by planting and natural regeneration within the next five years. Every volunteer who takes part in our Conservation Weeks will be helping to achieve something very special' said Alan Watson Featherstone.
For more details see the Trees for Life website.