Beauty spot visitors urged not to hammer coins into 'wish trees'

There has been an increasing trend of the number of coins, from the UK and further afield, hammered into tree trunks.

Perthshire beauty spot visitors urged not to hammer coins into ‘wish trees’ at The Hermitage STV News

Visitors to a beauty spot in Perthshire are being urged to stop hammering coins into tree stumps for good luck, over concerns it is destroying habitats for woodland creatures.

“Wish trees” have become increasingly popular at beauty spots, with people pressing coins into tree trunks in a bid for good luck over the last decade.

There has been an increasing trend of the number of coins, from the UK and further afield, hammered into tree trunks at National Trust for Scotland (NTS) site The Hermitage near Dunkeld, causing concern amongst park rangers.

Louise Medine, a NTS ranger, said the first instances at the Hermitage were seen after storms in 2010 and 2011.

“It does look lovely, there’s some pretty patterns, but with the coins people are putting in trying to make their wishes, we’re actually seeing more and more of these spreading throughout the woodlands now and it is becoming a little bit of a problem,” she told STV News.

Over time, the metals in the tree trunks leach into the wood “effectively poisoning” the habitat for insects laying eggs.

She added: “Every time we have any tree work or a tree comes down, suddenly the coins are in it, so we’re just a little bit worried about what we see as a habitat, we don’t see it as dead wood, we see it as decaying wood, so it’s a valuable habitat for grubs and insects that lay their eggs in there. 

“With all these coins in the wood those metals will slowly be leaching into the wood and effectively poisoning it.”

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