Highlands & Islands

Eigg spoon man's race to save Scottish bluebell

Eddie Scott harvesting bluebell seeds
Image caption Eddie Scott harvesting bluebell seeds on Eigg

A crofter on the island of Eigg is harvesting seeds of Scottish bluebells in an effort to save the species.

On the mainland, the native plant is threatened by cross breeding with an imported Spanish variety.

Also known as the British bluebell, the flower is protected by law and Eddie Scott had to seek permission from the Scottish government to gather seeds.

Mr Scott, who crofts at Cleadale, also teaches spoon-playing at the Celtic Connections music festival.

'Help strengthen'

He is packaging the seeds and selling them from the island's craft shop and online in the hope of the seeds being sown throughout Scotland.

Mr Scott said: "The bluebells on Eigg have never been exposed to the Spanish variety so have not cross bred to become hybrids.

"In a lot of places the hybrids and Spanish bluebells have driven the native ones to the brink of extinction.

"Planting more pure Scottish bluebells will help strengthen their foothold once again."

The crofter said the purity of the seeds has been verified by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

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