Whom not to buy bagpipers from…

Scotland on Sunday – Bagpipes a threat to the environment (and we’re not talking noise pollution):

The MCP and FFI are hopeful that by 2009 sustainably certified Blackwood will be on the market. “This will mean that musicians will be in no doubt that the wood in the instrument they are buying has been legally felled and a fair price has been paid to its local custodians,” said Gordon-Maclean. “We would urge concerned pipers to demand their suppliers explain where they source their Blackwood so it is not at the expense of poor African farmers and the global environment.” In the meantime, people have been flocking to help reforest parts of Tanzania. Ethical present firm Good Gifts is urging people to plant bagpipe trees. It is pledging to plant 21 Blackwood saplings for £15, 50 for £35 and 60 for £42.

But pipe major and manufacturer David MacMurchie, who uses Blackwood, was less than impressed by the campaign. “I for one am not going be made to feel guilty by a bunch of misguided environmental do-gooders,” he said. “I am sure that the communities in Africa use a hell of a lot more Blackwood than bagpipe manufacturers.


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