Lottery winners are not scared to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.

Green-fingered National Lottery winners Fred and Lesley Higgins visited the heart of the Scottish Highlands yesterday to help plant trees in a bid to support the restoration of the Caledonian Forest.

By John A. MacInnes
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 3:09 pm
Lottery winners visit Trees for Life site at Dun Dreggan in the Highlands.
Lottery winners visit Trees for Life site at Dun Dreggan in the Highlands.

The couple, originally from Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire, joined a group of Scottish winners at the Trees for Life rewilding estate in Dundreggan to play their part in reducing the impact of climate change by planting trees in the regenerating forest.

The group spent time on site embracing the wonders of nature and learning about the work of the charity. Kat Murphy (Education Manager) and Paul Greaves (Training Programme Manager) led the group through a series of educational tours, including through the tree nursery, before exploring the Rewilding Centre which is set to open in 2023.

Fred and Lesley, who won a whopping £57,975,367 on EuroMillions in July 2018, were joined by Libby Elliot from Fife who won £2,159,664 in August 2012; Jim and Pam Forbes from Tayport who won £655,838 on EuroMillions in September 2017; and Sheila and Duncan Davidson from Aberdeenshire who won £4,520,123 on a lucky dip ticket in February 2012.

Speaking of their visit, Lesley said: “Fred and I are very passionate about supporting organisations which do great work. We are really proud to be supporting Trees for Life so these ancient forests can be protected and regenerated for us all to enjoy and benefit from.”

Established in 1993, Trees for Life aims to help the regeneration of the Caledonian Forest which once covered a large area of the Scottish Highlands. After years of natural and man-made destruction, the new wild forests will help reduce the impacts of climate change by storing carbon and preventing flooding and erosion.

The charity has received over £1M in National Lottery funding since 2007 to help support several projects to rewild the Scottish Highlands, with Dundreggan being the most significant to date.

Home to over 4,000 species of plants and animals, the Dundreggan estate provides a base for volunteers, academics and researchers to conduct important work in protecting many rare and protected species. As part of this, the charity is building a Rewilding Centre which will welcome a larger audience.”