A significant 56 ha tree planting project has been completed at Ledcharrie (Glen Dochart) to benefit landscape and biodiversity.
Ledcharrie Farm received funding from the Forestry Grant Scheme to plant 76,000 native trees along three riparian corridors after identifying an area for potential woodland creation outlined in the National Park’s Trees and Woodland Strategy.
The Strategy, which was launched in 2019, is a key tool for landowners and land managers to identify areas where native woodland creation would have the greatest impact and deliver multiple benefits for nature, such as carbon sequestration, habitat connectivity, landscape enhancement, natural flood management and recreational opportunities.
At Ledcharrie, the native trees planted include Downy Birch, Alder, Willow, Aspen, Sessile Oak, Silver Birch, Rowan, Hazel and Scot’s Pine. These species were selected to strengthen riparian corridors (along river banks) and mitigate against the impacts of climate change. Fences were also erected to manage unsustainable grazing impacts from herbivores.
Riparian woodlands have multiple benefits for nature, such as:
Nicola Colquhoun, Land Manager at Ledcharrie Farm, said: ‘When we took over the farm in 2019 we were keen to bolster the existing tree cover and integrate that with the current and future enterprises on the farm. As the trees grow they will provide so many benefits to the livestock and to the nature that shares the landscape with us. We have to work with nature and that is why we choose to buffer the riparian zones to maximise habitat connectivity. We are already seeing the benefits one year in, with barn owls hunting the young woodlands, black grouse feeding on the regenerating blueberry and heathers and the beavers skirting around the edges!’
This project will help to tackle the key environmental threats to nature outlined in our Wild Park action programme and protect and enhance tree cover in the National Park in line with our Trees and Woodland Strategy.
It will also contribute to the National Park Partnership Plan target of creating 2,000 ha of woodland by 2023 and to the wider Scottish Government woodland creation target.
This year, we launched a new Woodland Creation Planning Fund which can help support projects like this in the National Park. The fund can support costs associated with the development of a woodland creation proposal such as surveys (e.g. habitat, peat depth, soil), planting options and landscape assessments undertaken to assess potential woodland creation sites.
If you have any queries about tree planting projects in the National Park, please contact our Trees and Woodland Advisor Simon Franks at firstname.lastname@example.org.