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Good Luck Leaf Acorn in blue

Our Trees:Trees for Life

Scotland is a prime candidate for ecological restoration work as it is one of the countries which has suffered most from environmental degradation in the past. The Highlands in particular have been described as a 'wet desert' as a result of the centuries of exploitation which have reduced them to their present impoverished and barren condition. Formerly covering 1.5 million hectares the Caledonian Forest has been reduced to just 1% of its former extent.

 

We at TreeTwist Ltd may be dedicated to getting trees in the ground, but we leave the planting of your trees to the experts. The money you give us towards trees we pass on to our partner - Trees for Life.

Trees for Life is a multi award winning forest restoration and conservation charity dedicated to the regeneration and restoration of the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands of Scotland. Their inspiring goals and vision extend beyond simply combating carbon damage to the atmosphere.


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Working in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland and the RSPB, Trees for Life has been actively restoring the Caledonian Forest since 1989. Running over 30 volunteer conservation Work Weeks a year Trees for Life have already planted more than half a million native trees as part of a far reaching project to return a 900 square mile target are in the North West Highlands to wild forest. The long term goal of Trees for Life is to restore the Caledonian Forest to an area of 600 square miles in the north-central Highlands, and to reintroduce the missing species of wildlife, such as the beaver, wild boar, brown bear, moose, lynx and wolf which formerly lived in the forest.

 

The vision of Trees for Life is to restore a wild forest, which is there for its own sake, as a home for wildlife and to fulfil the ecological functions necessary for the wellbeing of the land itself. Many other countries are now repeating the same ecological mistakes, Trees for Life believe that the onus is on Scotland to provide an example of reversing the damage which has been done. Thus, at Trees for Life, they envision their work to restore the Caledonian Forest as not only helping to bring the land back to a state of health and balance, but also having global relevance, as a model for similar projects in other countries.

 

The Trees for Life Target Area for forest restoration

Trees for Life have been implementing their vision and strategy through practical work on the ground since 1989, and some of their most significant accomplishments to date include:

Over 150,000 naturally regenerating Scots pine seedlings and other native trees have been protected from overgrazing by fences which they've funded.

More than half a million Scots pines and native broadleaved trees have been planted by staff and volunteers.

They have funded the fencing of 458 hectares (1,132 acres) of land in Glen Affric for forest regeneration and expansion.

They’ve carried out forest restoration work at numerous other sites in their target area, including Glen Moriston, Achnashellach, Grudie Oakwood in Strathbran and the Corrimony Nature Reserve in Glen Urquhart.

They have initiated special projects for the regeneration of rare trees in the forest, such as aspen, and for specific threatened parts of the forest ecosystem, including the montane shrub community and riparian or riverside woodland.

In 1991, in recognition of their work, they were declared the UK Conservation Project of the Year in an annual competition run by the Conservation Foundation. In 2000, after 5 years of monitoring and assessment, Trees for Life received the prestigious Millennium Marque Award which was given to projects which 'demonstrate environmental excellence for the 21st century'.

In 2001, their founder and Executive Director, Alan Watson Featherstone, received the celebrated Schumacher Award for 'his inspirational and practical work on conserving and restoring degraded ecosystems'.

They propagate all the native trees in Caledonian Forest in their own nursery at Plodda Lodge, concentrating particularly on the scarcer species, such as hazel, holly, juniper etc, which are difficult to obtain from other sources.

Over a thousand volunteers, from teenagers to seventy year-olds, have taken part in their forest restoration work. Coming from both the local area, and as far away as Canada, Argentina and Australia, the volunteers receive a powerful experience of working together in a group with like-minded people to do something practical and positive for the planet. 

Over a period of several years, they have carried out the most extensive surveys in Scotland for dwarf birch, a key component of the montane shrub vegetation community. This is part of their programme to facilitate the regeneration and recovery of this community, which has been almost entirely eliminated in Scotland by overgrazing and burning.