Argyllshire Advertiser leader column – May 6, 2022

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The efforts of the 60 volunteers who braved the cold waters of Loch Craignish have been rewarded this week with news that the seagrass seeds they sowed have sprouted.

The sight of tiny green shoots on the seabed heralds the success of Scotland’s first restoration of this vital, but fragile habitat and such is the project’s success it will be used as a springboard for similar habitat restorations throughout the UK.

The hardy Craignish folk have also played their hand in the introduction to their loch of 300,000 native oysters which, like seagrass, filter and clean seawater and create reefs for spawning fish.

The fact that schools, families and cub groups have all been involved offers real hope for the future conservation of our natural heritage.

Sadly, the recent visit to our shores by runners who paid more than £15,000 to compete in the Highland Kings event has been hailed less positively.

The organisers of the four-day 120-mile race say they are committed to minimising its impact, but found themselves this week responding to local anger when they used a chalk paint as way-markers on rocks.

The chalk will wash off, but its impact on the rocks’ pH-sensitive lichen may last longer. Here’s hoping that lessons will be learned for its planned return next year.