We have a great opportunity to carry out an inspiring pinewood regeneration project in Glen Strathfarrar, so please make a donation now, for this to go ahead in 2012.
I’m writing to you today to request your support for an exciting new project – the natural regeneration of a native pinewood area in one of the best Caledonian Forest remnants, in Glen Strathfarrar. We have an agreement with the landowner to erect a 14 hectare fenced exclosure there for regeneration, and can get a grant to cover some of the costs for that, but we need to raise another £6,400 to fully fund the project. Please send a donation today to help us reach this target!
Situated two glens north of Affric, Strathfarrar rivals its better known neighbour for its native pinewoods, both in extent and in the wildness of its character and diversity of species. Indeed, both areas have similar conservation status as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and are the habitat for characteristic pinewood species such as the Scottish crossbill, red squirrel and one-flowered wintergreen. Additionally, Strathfarrar is ranked as the most important site in the country for the distinctive pinewood lichen community it supports. It’s a very special place, and touches everyone who visits it, with its rugged landscape and extensive tracts of impressive old Scots pines.
Regeneration work began there over 30 years ago, and I’ve been visiting the glen regularly since 1987. After I made the commitment to launch the Trees for Life project in 1986, much of my inspiration and early learning about the Caledonian Forest, and how to help it regenerate, took place in Strathfarrar. It’s very fitting and appropriate therefore that we have the potential to help restore the pinewoods there now.
With your support, we can bring new life to this ancient pinewood
To fence this area of 14 hectares (34.5 acres) will cost an estimated £15,400, and we can obtain a grant of £9,000 for this from the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). A further grant is payable 5 years later, assuming the regeneration is deemed successful, but this leaves an interim shortfall of £6,400, and it’s to raise this amount that I’m asking for your support. Strathfarrar is one of the most important pinewoods in the larger overall Project Area where we work, and this is an excellent opportunity for us to make a real difference for the woodland there. Please help us bring new life to this ancient pinewood by sending a donation today!
Here’s why this project is so special and significant:
- Glen Strathfarrar contain one of the best and largest remnants of the Caledonian Forest, and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), reflecting its importance in both a national and a European context.
- A rolling programme of fenced exclosures for natural regeneration was initiated in Strathfarrar more than 30 years ago, but this has stalled, due to financial constraints. With this project now, we can initiate a new phase of regeneration, which potentially will be followed by other exclosures in future.
- At the site where this fence will go up, the Scots pines were affected by a fire in the 1960s, with many of the standing dead trees visible today dating from then. No new trees have been able to grow in the intervening time, but in an adjoining area that was fenced over 20 years ago naturally-regenerating trees are well-established and prolific - the same will happen here.
- The 14 hectare site that will be fenced includes an aspen stand as well as some hazel and oak trees. This range of tree species, together with the south-facing aspect and comparatively rich soils, means that a rich, diverse woodland will grow there, providing an expanded habitat for the special species occurring in Strathfarrar, which include the Scottish crossbill, brilliant emerald dragonfly, pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly and a rare lichen (Bryoria furcellata).
Supporting this project will give the gift of new life to trees this Christmas!
This is our first new substantial regeneration project on private land for several years, and it’s a great opportunity to begin working in one of the best remnants of the Caledonian Forest. Your support will make a crucial difference in helping us reach our funding target of £6,400, that we need for the project to go ahead. Just as I was inspired by the remarkable pinewoods of Strathfarrar in the early days of Trees for Life, I’m hoping that you will be similarly inspired to support their regeneration now.
Donations can be made very simply using the link below and my sincere thanks for any gift that you can make.
Alan Watson Featherstone
PS. At this time of year, large numbers of trees are used for Christmas trees, wrapping paper etc. By contrast, this project is a great way to give new life to some trees, so please send a donation today. Thank you!