A forest is more than trees, it is a web of life. It is complex and includes many thousands of different organisms all performing an important role, from the plants that make up the different layers of the forest to the fungi that help to recycle nutrients by decomposing dead material. Animals feed on the plants and each other to help ensure a natural balance. Crucial to this natural balance are the predators because they help to ensure there are not too many other animals eating the plants. All of the large predators, like wolves and bears, have been lost from Scotland because of human persecution. This is one reason why the forest cannot recover outside fences in the Highlands because there are so many deer that eat every tree seedling they find. … read more
Collecting cuttings from rare montane willows is a difficult but vitally important task. Montane trees are specialist species which have adapted to grow at high altitudes, above the normal tree line, in the face of high winds and dramatic temperature changes. … read more
Trees for Life has been working with volunteers ever since it began. The vast majority of the 1.5 million trees we’ve planted so far have been put in the ground by people on our Conservation Weeks. Over the years, the volunteers and group leaders began to talk more and more about the restorative, healing power of a Conservation Week experience. It seemed that sharing time with others to bring nature back to a degraded landscape offered unique opportunities for people to explore their relationships with the natural world and with themselves. The awareness that Conservation Weeks help people’s mental wellbeing began to take hold. … read more
When you look closely, it’s amazing what you’ll find in the forest. Doug Gilbert, Dundreggan Operations Manager, explores the forest floor in search of wood ants. A keystone species in the forest – wood ants play a major role in nature throughout the world, and Scotland is no exception. … read more
Ending old conflicts about land management and wildlife means facing up to hard conversations positively, not hiding from them. The rush to trap a small family of beavers in Strathglass shows that the Scottish government is being overtaken by England’s increasingly progressive agenda for land use and the natural environment. … read more
This spring Matthew and Leo will be travelling to Arctic Greenland, undertaking a 40-day expedition with both scientific and mountaineering objectives. Before setting off they kindly chose to offset the carbon footprint of their expedition by planting trees with us - restoring the wild forest. They hope to continue fundraising along the way with donations going to Trees for Life and Anxiety UK. Matt wrote this blog to show why he believes carbon offsetting is so important. … read more
Our new Caledonian Forest Research Centre at Dundreggan, funded with the help of donations and grants, will come into operation later this year. It provides a much-needed opportunity to improve our seed preparation facilities. To help ensure we have the right equipment, our nursery team recently took part in a week-long training course at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst to learn from the global experts in seed storage. … read more
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In 2012 we planted our millionth tree! Now we want to establish a million more trees. Help us meet this exciting milestone...