25 years of regeneration at Coille Ruigh na Cuileige

IMG_1341 On September 14th this year it was the 25th anniversary of the completion of the first major project for Trees for Life – the protection of the 50 hectare fenced exclosure at Coille Ruigh na Cuileige in Glen Affric.

  • 2nd Nov 2015, by Alan Watson Featherstone

A small miracle on Dundreggan

IMG_8316-Pine-seedling-Binnilidh-Bheag-2007 "Forest recovery is underway at Dundreggan, and that seemingly miraculous events are occurring. When we work in tandem and harmony with nature’s inherent desire to restore diversity and abundance to a landscape, we create a dynamic synergy with nature that speeds up the process."

  • 27th Oct 2015, by Alan Watson Featherstone

An oasis of life in a depleted landscape

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 14.36.08 On the morning of the last of the three days I spent on the West Affric Estate in August, I took a different route to my four colleagues. They were crossing the Affric River to look at a new planting site on land managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, which is planned to extend the native woodland southwards, along the east side of the Allt a’ Chomhlain watercourse ... read more

  • 20th Sep 2015, by Alan Watson Featherstone

The devastating damage that deer can do, part 2

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 09.32.37 In August four colleagues and I spent three days on the West Affric Estate, a 10,000 acre area of land that encompasses the headwaters of the Affric River, and is owned by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). We were there to look at some of the areas that we worked with NTS on between 1993 and 2000, when ten deer-fenced exclosures were erected, to kick-start the process of forest recovery on the estate ... read more

  • 10th Sep 2015, by Alan Watson Featherstone

The devastating damage that deer can do: Part 1

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 09.47.43 In May 2004, during a visit to the National Trust for Scotland’s (NTS’s) West Affric Estate, which encompasses the headwaters of the Affric River watershed, I had a remarkable and memorable experience. While checking up on some small-scale stock fenced exclosures that our volunteers had erected around some tiny overgrazed eared willow (Salix aurita) seedlings beside the Affric River in 1997, I found several bluebell plants (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) in full bloom in one of them ... read more

  • 1st Sep 2015, by Alan Watson Featherstone

A visit to Scotland’s most westerly pinewood

IMG_9457 Over the years I’ve visited many of the old native pinewoods that are remnants of the original Caledonian Forest, which formerly covered much of the Highlands. However, I’d never been to the most westerly of those pinewood areas, at Shieldaig in Wester Ross ... read more

  • 17th Aug 2015, by Alan Watson Featherstone

Rediscovery of a rare species at Dundreggan

IMG_7663-300x200 In 2012, during a survey he did for us of aphids on Dundreggan, Ed Baker discovered a species that had never been recorded in Britain before. This turned out to be the giant juniper aphid (Cinara smolandiae), which up until then had only been found in Sweden, Finland and north-west Russia ... read more

  • 2nd Aug 2015, by Alan Watson Featherstone

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