Highlands & Islands

Fishing nets used to 'anchor' sand dunes on South Uist

Islanders have been using fishing nets to try to stop wind erosion to sand dunes on South Uist in a project backed by Oxfam Scotland.

The nets "anchor" the dunes until marram grass can grow and act as a natural protection against the wind, the charity said.

Oxfam said some islanders were concerned climate change had increased the frequency of damaging storms.

It has called for a world fund to be set up to help vulnerable communities.

With Oxfam's backing, former crofter Seumas MacDonald, of South Uist, will meet representatives from other communities on a visit to Mexico.

They then plan to send a joint message to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun urging world leaders to focus more on the human impact of climate change.

Mr MacDonald said: "Climate change is affecting my community in the Hebrides and it is affecting communities around the world.

"In South Uist the community has been empowered and supported to take action to adapt to the changing climate, and we need communities around the world to have the same opportunity."

Malcolm Fleming, Oxfam Scotland campaigns manager, added: "Last year's talks in Copenhagen failed to secure the global consensus required to tackle climate change.

"This year's UN talks in Mexico are an opportunity to move forward on this critical issue."

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