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US Navy Helps Findhorn Dunes Trust

The Findhorn Dunes Trust are very grateful to VP-9 Squadron (The Golden Eagles) of the US Navy at RAF Lossiemouth for clearing an area of the dunes of gorse bushes and Lodge Pole Pine seedlings North of the three large wind turbines. The background is that Jeffrey Renteria of VP-9 Squadron and his colleagues wished to thank Moray for the welcome they have received during their tour of duty at RAF Lossiemouth. Jeffrey contacted tsiMORAY, who advertised the opportunity, and the Findhorn Dunes Trust were fortunate to be the beneficiaries.

The dune heath at Findhorn is a rare and diminishing habitat for lichen in U.K. A major cause of the loss of habitat is the overgrowth of the lichen beds by gorse (whins) and non-native Lodge Pole Pines. This kills the native heather and lichens, some of which are rare.

The US Navy undertook the work within the limitations of Covid 19 on Good Friday. The area chosen was a lichen bed 300 metres x 50 metres, which had been cleared in the past but where gorse, in particular, was regrowing. Jeffrey along with his four US Navy colleagues, together with five members of the Findhorn Dunes Trust spent a very productive afternoon in the sunshine.

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