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Our Trees

 

 

 

All our tress are planted by multi award-winning charity             

                     Trees for Life



 

Trees for Life

Trees for Life is the tree planting partner for TreeTwist.  It is the only organisation specifically dedicated to restoring the Caledonian Forest to a target area of 600 sq miles in the Scottish Highlands. They work in partnership with the Forestry Commission, RSPB and private landowners, and own and manage the 10,000 acre Dundreggan Estate.

Each year they run over 45 conservation holidays. Hundreds of volunteers join us annually in planting over 100,000 trees in protected areas, and carry out other restoration work such as seed collection and propagation of young trees and rare woodland plants. We have planted over 800,000 trees since 1989.

 

The Trees for Life vision 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.

We are not aiming to regenerate a forest which will be utilised sustainably as an extractive resource for people, although we recognise the need for this in Scotland. We endorse the efforts of other organisations in seeking to establish a new, ecologically-sustainable system of forestry, but we strongly believe that this utilitarian approach must be complemented by the restoration of large areas of wild forest. Trees for Life is unique in being the only organisation working specifically towards this end.

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.

With most other countries now repeating the same ecological mistakes, we believe that the onus is on Scotland to provide an example of reversing the damage which has been done here. Thus, at Trees for Life, we envision our work to restore the Caledonian Forest as not only helping to bring the land here back to a state of health and balance, but also having global relevance, as a model for similar projects in other countries. 

 

The Caledonian Forest

 

The Caledonian Forest originally covered much of the Highlands of Scotland, and takes its name from the Romans, who called Scotland 'Caledonia', meaning 'wooded heights'. As the map at the top right shows, the native pinewoods, which formed the westernmost outpost of the boreal forest in Europe, are estimated to have covered 1.5 million hectares as a vast primeval wilderness of scots pines, birch, rowan, aspen, juniper and other trees. On the west coast, oak and birch trees predominated in a temperate rainforest ecosystem rich in ferns, mosses and lichens. Many species of wildlife flourished in the forest, including the European beaver, wild boar, lynx, moose, brown bear and the wolf, as well as several notable species of birds - the capercaillie, the crested tit, and the endemic Scottish crossbill, which occurs nowhere else in the world apart from the pinewoods.

However, there has been a long history of deforestation in Scotland, and clearance of the land began in Neolithic times. Trees were cut for fuel and timber, and to convert the land to agriculture. Over the centuries, the forest shrank as the human population grew, and some parts were deliberately burned to eradicate 'vermin' such as the wolf. More recently, large areas were felled to satisfy the needs of industry, particularly after the timber supply in England had been exhausted. The widespread introduction of sheep and a large increase in the numbers of red deer ensured that once the forest was cleared, it did not return.

Today less than 1% of the original forests survive, and the native pinewoods have been reduced to 35 isolated remnants (marked in black on the lower map). Gone with the trees are all the large mammals, with the exception of the deer. Species such as the brown bear and the wild boar had become extinct by the 10th and 17th centuries respectively, while the last to disappear was the wolf, when the final individual was shot in 1743. The shaded part of the map also shows the target area of about 600 square miles where Trees for Life are working to restore the native forest.


All our tress are planted by multi award-winning charity

Trees for Life

Trees for Life

Scotland is a prime candidate for ecological restoration work as it....

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Tree Species

In 1996 Trees for Life purchased Plodda Lodge....

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Dundreggan Estate

Dundreggan covers approximately 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres)....

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The Caledonian Forest

Trees for Life is an award-winning charity working to help restore ....

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