"Beautiful place. Enjoyable work. It's great to be able to contribute to nature so directly."
Owned by Trees for Life, Dundreggan is an area of 10,000 acres of land in beautiful Glen Moriston, near Loch Ness. Adjoining the River Moriston Special Area of Conservation, its ancient woodlands include a remnant of Caledonian pinewood and rare birch-juniper woodland. With a diverse range of montane habitats, moors and burns, Dundreggan is a haven for biodiversity, supporting many rare and endangered species.
Watch this video from volunteer Kim Grant who volunteered on a Rewilding Dundreggan conservation week.
Click on an image below to view the gallery.
Your week here will comprise a mixture of 3-4 days native tree planting up on the hills and 1-2 days working in our tree nursery. The schedule may vary depending on the weather and other tasks that may arise such as fence maintenance, survey of native species and removal of invasive trees and plants.
Our planting is presently focused in our recently constructed exclosure (an area fenced to keep the deer out) on the slopes above the Allt Ruadh (Gaelic for the Red Burn). The slope is not steep but the walk to it is over boggy and rough ground. A reasonable level of fitness is required.
A most exciting project - the start of a new forest of nearly 500 acres - restoring part of the estate which was once the Dungreggan Forest and is now treeless.
You will stay in the former hunting lodge of the estate. Built in the 1970s this is a warm and comfortable house.
You will be sleeping on bunk beds in small bedrooms. There is one room that can be reserved for a couple staying if you wish. Please ask the office if you would like this. However if the group is a very large one this option may not be possible.
There is plenty of hot water for the end of a hard days' work, and drying areas for wet clothes.
The Common Room has a large wood burner for those cosy evenings in - and on clear evenings we might just light the fire outside.
Food is simple and all vegetarian. Vegans are welcome and we do our best to cater for folk with allergies. Be sure to let us know.
We all live and eat communally for the week taking turns cooking and cleaning. This is part of the fun of the week and the variety and quality of cuisine is almost always delicious. Come prepared to be amazed!
Pillow case, duvet cover and bedsheets required.
The rest day is normally Wednesday and there are a variety of things to do. Take a leisurely stroll over the estate to a couple of peaks with magnificent views; visit Fort Augustus and possibly walk the Great Glen Way back to Invermoriston for a pint or a cup of tea whilst waiting for collection; plant some more trees (for those who didn't get enough in the first 3 days); hang out in the lodge by the fire.
Dundreggan has an increasing population of birds, mammals and insects.
We have an infra-red camera for night spotting of our resident pine martens; a young golden eagle has recently made Dundreggan its home; red deer roam the hills and there are wild boar around too (but only at night and away from the accommodation). There are finches and many other birds including buzzards and cuckoos, red and black grouse and owls hooting in the trees at night. Bats, swallows and swifts haunt the eves of some of the old outbuildings.
We also have some rarer species of insect which include the non-biting midge (really!) and the strawberry spider (Araneus alsine) in addition to the giant juniper aphid (Cinara smolandiae) unique in Scotland to the Dundreggan Estate.
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