Highlands & Islands

Bid to buy and restore war-time damaged Loch Arkaig forest

Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge Image copyright Peter Evans/Geograph
Image caption The Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge recalls the role of the local area in training troops in war-time

An appeal has been launched to raise £500,000 to buy and restore woodland damaged by fire during commando training in World War Two.

Scorched tree trunks still stand at Loch Arkaig Pine Forest.

The woods formed part of a large area near Fort William used for secret training of Allied commandos.

Woodland Trust Scotland is working with the group Arkaig Community Forest on the bid to purchase the woodland from Forestry Commission Scotland.

The wood includes areas of ancient Caledonian forest, which provides habitat for birds such as Scottish crossbill.

Loch Arkaig is close to the community of Spean Bridge where a memorial recalls the surrounding area's war-time role.

Achnacarry Castle, the ancestral home of the chiefs of Clan Cameron, was the base for the training.

The castle, about 15 miles (24km) north east of Fort William, was used by commandos from Britain and the US as well as France, the Netherlands, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Belgium from 1942 to 1945.

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