Home Nature Scotland’s oldest wild pine saved by Trees for Life – Mark Avery

Scotland’s oldest wild pine saved by Trees for Life – Mark Avery

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Remote forest– home to Scotland’s earliest wild pine– conserved as part of rewilding effort

A remote ancient forest– home to Scotland’s earliest wild Scots pine, which is at least 565-years-old– has actually been conserved from being lost permanently and provided a possibility of regrowth thanks to Trees for Life, as part of the charity’s huge Affric Highlands rewilding effort.

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Glen Loyne Photo: Sian Addison

The pinewood residue of some 57 pines, all a number of centuries old and spread through Glen Loyne in the northwest Highlands, was at threat from overgrazing by extreme varieties of deer– an essential danger to making it through Caledonian pinewoods that avoids them from naturally restoring.

The earliest pine has actually been dated to a minimum of 1458 by St Andrews Tree-Ring Laboratory, and is thought to be even older. The origins of such pines extends back to the last glacial epoch.

In cooperation with the landowner, whose love of the pinewoods made the task possible, Trees for Life has actually produced a brand-new deer-proof ‘exclosure’ of fencing to safeguard the forest, consisting of the most ancient pines, and to enable young seedlings to grow without being consumed.

Glen Loyne’s wild pines and other Caledonian pinewoods are internationally distinct, and an unique part of Scotland’s character and culture. Conserving and restoring them uses a significant chance for dealing with the nature and environment crises,” stated James Rainey, senior ecologist at Trees for Life.

Trees for Life surveyed the website as part of its four-year Caledonian Pinewood Recovery Project, among the most extensive studies of the health of Scotland’s pinewoods. The group discovered that a few of the earliest pines were outside a location of fencing which had actually been set up in the 1990s to safeguard the trees from grazing pressure. Deer had actually likewise breached the fenced location.

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Glen Loyne deer fence Photo: Bret Charman

Trees for Life has actually now set up 1.5 kilometres of brand-new fencing, and has actually linked up, extended and fixed existing areas, with the durable products needing to be carried into the remote glen by helicopter. The pinewood will now have the ability to naturally restore for the very first time in years.

Fencing is just a short-term repair, however for now it’s an important method of providing these valuable pinewoods a battling possibility of healing till reliable landscape-scale deer management can be effectively developed,” stated James Rainey.

Historically part of the royal searching premises of Cluanie, the Glen Loyne forests would when have actually been home to capercaillie, lynx, and wildcat. Ordnance Survey maps from 1874 reveal a more substantial forest in the glen, however by the 1990s there were just 85 ancient pines left– a number that has actually because been minimized even more to simply 57.

The nature healing task has actually been moneyed by the household of Harry Steven, who with Jock Carlise composed The Native Pinewoods of Scotland, released in 1959. This pioneering book identified the unique status of the pinewoods, and recorded 35 wild pine populations that had actually handled to make it through centuries of logging.

In the 1990s, the work of Steven and Carlisle resulted in the then Forestry Commission Scotland assembling Scotland’s main Caledonian Pinewood Inventory, which today identifies 84 websites.

Glen Loyne, on East Glen Quoich estate, lies within Affric Highlands– the UK’s biggest rewilding landscape. Led by Trees for Life and Rewilding Europe, this 30-year community-focused effort will bring back peatland, forest and riverside environments over half a million acres from Loch Ness to the west coast, supporting nature-based and re-peopling financial chances.

The Caledonian forest when covered much of the Highlands, however today less than 2% endures. The pinewoods are among Scotland’s wealthiest environments, and deal haven to decreasing wildlife such as red squirrels, capercaillie and crossbills. Trees for Life is devoted to rewilding the Highlands, consisting of by bring back the Caledonian forest. See treesforlife.org.uk

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