Ayrshire's Whitelee Plateau, once a treeless wilderness, is now home to ten million conifers. Helen Mark hears tales of life on the plateau before the forest came.
In Open Country this week, Helen Mark visits the Whitelee Plateau in Ayrshire, once a treeless bog grazed by very hardy sheep and cattle but now transformed into a vast conifer plantation of ten million trees. The 'greening' of the Whitelee Plateau was part of a tremendous shift in land use in Scotland, nearly trebling tree cover in just forty years.Historian Ruth Tittensor saw the importance of this change in the Ayrshire landscape and recorded the thoughts and feelings of local people affected by the coming of the forest. She documented enormous social and environmental change, and takes Helen to meet people who remember the plateau before the coming of the trees.
Producer : Moira Hickey.