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7 Sept 2021

Tales from the Trust’s teams #1: Inverewe

Written by Martin Hughes, Operations Manager, Inverewe
Let’s Talk Dirty


My name is Martin Hughes and I'm the Operations Manager for the National Trust for Scotland at Inverewe Garden.

Here at Inverewe Garden, we're truly feeling the effects of climate change.
As our winters and summers get wetter, we're seeing much more heavier rain events than ever before.

Why is this a danger for Inverewe?
Well, in places the soil depth at Inverewe is less than one inch thick. The increase in heavier and more frequent rainfall causes some of this soil to be washed away into the loch below.
One inch of topsoil takes roughly 100 years to form, so at Inverewe: dirt is gold.
Inverewe produces around 15-20 tonnes of organic matter each year: leaves, brash, cuttings.
In the past, the sheer volume of this organic matter was too much for the site to handle and much of it unfortunately ended up in landfill.

The good news though is, here at Inverewe Garden, we've developed a best-in-class composting system.
Guests at our café will find compostable plates, knives, cups; and all we ask is for our guests to kindly place all items into specially designated bins.
Items placed in these bins are then taken to a specially designed shredder, which cuts them into tiny pieces and then into our composting system.
Six weeks after being used in our café, these items are then feeding our plants and building up the soil depth all around Inverewe Garden.

We hope that this process, and in our view our best-in-class composting process, will be an inspiration to other gardens in Scotland, and indeed maybe provide some inspiration to our guests to get composting and do their bit for climate change.

‘Let’s Talk Dirty’ is the first of four tales from our front-line staff, showing how their dedication contributes to the Trust’s mission of conservation.

Of course, these are just four examples from the hundreds of initiatives that our teams are responsible for, day in and day out. We are so proud of the love shown for Scotland by all our staff and volunteers! We work to protect the places we all love, so as many people as possible can explore and enjoy the very best of Scotland.

I love this place

By joining the National Trust for Scotland, you can protect the places that matter to you and experience the best that Scotland has to offer.

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