Brimming with wildlife and part of the ancient hunting grounds of kings and lairds from the 14th Century onwards, Dundreggan has been rewilded by Trees for Life since we purchased it in 2008.
Here we plant trees to create a new wild forest, allow the forest to recover through natural regeneration and test new tree growing and land management techniques.
The land is now recovering from centuries of grazing and browsing by sheep, goats, cattle and deer. Over 4,000 species of plants and animals are found at Dundreggan, including many rare and protected species.
Dundreggan is a base for volunteer groups throughout the year and our tree nursery is located onsite. We have a car park and short network of woodland walks – we welcome you to visit and explore this superb area.
The Dundreggan Rewilding Centre
Trees for Life plans to engage a larger, more diverse audience with the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands through the new Dundreggan Rewilding Centre, a world-class, environmentally sensitive facility that will serve as a gateway to the wider landscape.
The Rewilding Centre will enable us to share the forest with everyone, making Dundreggan the place in Scotland where people can experience ancient pinewood and unique juniper forest, discover centuries of Gaelic history and connect with a landscape undergoing transformation through rewilding.
Visitors will directly experience the forest through: events aimed at a variety of audiences and interests; accessible habitat including a forest play area and all-ability trails; step-free access from parking through a visitor centre, exhibition space and café designed to bring the outdoors in.
Gaelic will be the focus of bilingual interpretation throughout, culminating in a Gaelic resource centre that will serve as an archive and learning space. Other adaptable indoor spaces, including a lecture room and classrooms, will provide opportunity for varied educational programming and study related to conservation, nature and culture.
A 40-bed accommodation building separate from the Rewilding Centre will allow for longer, more immersive experiences for students, researchers and volunteers who take part in activities there. The entire development will be powered and heated by a sustainable energy system to minimise impact to the environment.
Our tree nursery
We propagate rare and hard-to-grow trees so we can create a diverse forest that will be home to more wildlife. We specialise in growing mountain trees and aspen so they can return to the Scottish Highlands. We grow most of the trees that are planted out at Dundreggan from seed collected on the estate.
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After centuries without trees, it is difficult for a forest to grow again without some help. We plant native trees in areas where there is little chance of trees establishing on their own, especially in the higher areas where the special and rare mountain willows and birches have almost disappeared.
In areas where there are existing trees, we reduce grazing pressure so trees can grow naturally from seed. A new natural wild forest is gradually appearing in many parts of Dundreggan, showing that rewilding can be done by nature itself.
Hundreds of volunteers join us each year to plant trees, help in the nursery and experience rewilding in action. Based at Dundreggan Lodge in the heart of the estate, volunteers enjoy basic accommodation, simple food and enjoy experiences they will never forget.
Dundreggan is located off the A887 Invermoriston to Skye road, 7 miles drive from Invermoriston. Turn right at the road-side sign and you will find a small car park about 100 yards up the drive. From here marked trails lead you through a spectacular natural grove of juniper and into an attractive area of ancient semi-natural woodland, or for the more adventurous an old pony track leading to open moorland.
Those of you wishing to visit your own groves should be aware that most of the areas we have planted at Dundreggan are not easily accessible and require basic hill-walking equipment to make your visit safe and enjoyable. Stout boots or wellies and waterproofs are a must. Please also note your groves will not be individually marked.