Affric River downstream of the Dog Falls footbridge, showing healthy riparian forest, supported by StartlineAffric River downstream of the Dog Falls footbridge, showing healthy riparian forest, supported by Startline

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Car finance firm takes a walk on the rewilding side in Scottish Highlands

  • Startline Motor Finance is giving more than £100,000 to riverwoods project
  • It’ll see thousands of trees planted to provide shade and help keep water temperatures down
  • Habitat restoration is urgently needed to protect fish
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Time 10:14 am, August 18, 2023

A car finance firm is helping to rewild part of the Scottish Highlands and help protect fish in the process.

Glasgow-based Startline Motor Finance is putting more than £100,000 into a riverwoods project covering 23 riverside hectares in Glen Urquhart, to the west of Loch Ness, that will see more than 8,000 trees planted.

The project – undertaken by rewilding charity Trees for Life – includes urgently needed habitat restoration for salmon and other native fish at risk from rising water temperatures because of a lack of trees to provide vital shade.


It’ll see the creation of native riverside woodland in two areas over roughly a year and is one of several projects in Trees for Life’s Affric Highlands initiative, which will also include community engagement.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: ‘A key part of our corporate social responsibilities as a company is to enhance the environment and we are very pleased to be able to help with this project.

‘The Highlands are close to the heart of many staff at Startline, including myself, and the work that Trees for Life carries out is extremely important.’


Steve Micklewright, CEO at Trees for Life, said: ‘We are delighted to be partnering with Startline Motor Finance on this significant landscape project.

‘At its heart, Affric Highlands is an ambitious 30-year vision to bring together communities, businesses and landowners to restore woodland, peatland and riverside habitats.

‘We believe that common interests can become the basis of a progressive and shared agenda to strengthen the local economy and enrich people’s lives.

‘Startline Motor Finance’s generous, long-term support will be a huge boost for our work and will allow us to continue to work towards a better future for nature, the climate and people.’

Trees for Life has planted more than two million native trees since it was founded in 1993.

Pictured is the River Affric downstream of the Dog Falls footbridge, showing healthy riverside forest that has been supported by Startline

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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