Reforestation in Norway: showing what’s possible in Scotland and beyond
From Rewilding Britain www.rewildingbritain.org.uk
Scotland and Norway suffered large-scale deforestation over centuries but over the last 100 years the trees have been returning to Norway. It could be happening in Scotland too.
Some people think that the reason there are no trees growing across great swathes of Scotland is that they can't grow in these places – it’s too wet, it’s too windy, the soil is too thin. But they’re wrong. Look at the landscape in Scotland today and you’ll see a diverse mix of trees hanging on the edges of streams and gullies and rock faces. They’ve survived for centuries in extreme fringe locations where grazing mouths can’t reach them.
The forests of Scotland could return – if deer numbers were reduced to a level the land can support, if land wasn’t burned to favour shooting birds, and if livestock was managed alongside woodland as it is in many other countries.
Reforesting is a part of rewilding. Rewilding is about dedicating areas of land to nature, where nature decides the outcome. We can see what that might mean for Scotland by looking across the water to southwest Norway – an area almost identical to Scotland in climate and geology.
Vote for Trees for Life to win £20,000 funding to Rewild the Highlands
The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) runs a bi-annual funding competition for conservation projects nominated by its members. EOCA says:
"Twice a year, we receive applications from conservation organisations with projects that they would like us to consider funding. Following a rigorous selection procedure, we create a shortlist and ask for YOUR help in choosing three projects to receive funding!! We put our shortlisted projects into 3 categories - Nature, Outdoor and Alpine. Please get involved by choosing your favourite project in each category during our biannual vote."
Projects in the current voting round include Rewilding the Highlands, Scotland -
a reforestation and biodiversity project based on Dundreggan Conservation Estate near Invermoriston, proposed by Trees for Life http://www.treesforlife.org.uk
"Trees for Life’s Rewilding the Highlands project aims to establish one of the UK’s most inspiring examples of rewilding – featuring habitat creation for endangered or rare wildlife such as golden eagle, Scottish wildcat, red squirrel and pine marten, the planting of 50,000 trees, a boost for wildlife tourism, and 10,000 rare montane tree species being grown each year to re-establish higher altitude woodlands. Centrepiece of the project is Dundreggan Conservation Estate near Invermoriston – a ‘lost world’ biodiversity hotspot where more than 3,000 species have been discovered, including 10 found nowhere else in the UK and others that are extremely rare. The 4,000-hectare estate welcomes over 300 volunteers annually, part of an exciting 250-year vision to save Scotland's ancient Caledonian Forest. Engaging with local communities is an important part of the initiative, including support to enhance biodiversity at nearby community project Glengarry Community Woodland."
If you would like to vote for Trees for Life and re-wilding the Highlands click here and scroll down to the project to cast your vote.
More about Trees for Life's rewilding project.
For more information about EOCA go to http://www.outdoorconservation.eu/
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