Sikh community help Caledonian Forest

Sikhs in Scotland group photo
Norette Ferns

The Scottish Sikh community and Trees for Life have worked together to create a lifelong memorial for victims and survivors of the 1984 Sikh Massacre.

The Scottish Sikh community fundraised over £10,000 which was donated to the charity Trees for Life. Trees for Life, which is restoring the Caledonian Forest, planted 1,984 trees at its Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glen Moriston. Representatives of all ages from the Scottish Sikh community visited Dundreggan in October to hold a service and plant the first tree, an oak.

Manjit Kaur, spokesperson for the Scottish Sikh community said: 

"Establishing a permanent memorial for the 1984 Sikh Massacre is an incredibly important step for the Scottish Sikh community and we are proud to be able to partner with Trees for Life to turn our ambition into a reality. The tragic events of 1984 remain close to the hearts of many and planting 1,984 trees is a meaningful and inspiring way for the community to remember Sikh history whilst also making a positive contribution to the natural environment around us. We are very proud to play a part in bringing back the Caledonian Forest, inspiring generations for decades to come."

Steve Micklewright, CEO of Trees for Life, said:

"We’re really pleased to be able to make the connection between the restoration of wild forest in the Highlands with the Scottish Sikh community, who have worked tremendously hard to raise the funding to establish this important community memorial. It was wonderful to be able to welcome representatives of the Sikh community to the Highlands to show them the difference that their care for the Caledonian Forest is making."

A mixture of wild, native tree species such as alder, aspen, silver birch, hazel, Scots pine, rowan and willow on behalf of the Scottish Sikh community. The trees were grown by Trees for Life from locally collected seed and will grow into woodland rich in wildlife such as red squirrel, black grouse, Scottish crossbill, wood ants and twinflower.

Visit the Trees for Life website to find out more about Dundreggan Estate.