Boosting natural regeneration
“We have been actively restoring mountain woodland on Ben Lawers for over 30 years. We now the best example of this kind of habitat in the UK and our work is inspiring many other projects all over Scotland and further afield. Now, and over the next 30 years, we will continue to bolster existing populations such as hazel and birch, and shrubs such as downy willow, and also increase seed sources for some rarer species, eventually leading to the entirely natural regeneration of our mountain woodlands. Your support will help us achieve that.”
Helen Cole | Property Manager, Ben Lawers
We’re restoring Scotland’s natural mountain woodlands
For over 30 years, we’ve worked tirelessly to restore mountain woodlands at Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve. These woodlands – which should transition naturally from trees on lower slopes, up through small and hardy shrubs in a band known as ‘montane scrub’ and into the open slopes of the upper summits – have been lost due to overgrazing. Rare montane scrub species have become dangerously sparse and isolated as a result, and this little-known plant community is so often forgotten about that it’s referred to as a ‘Cinderella habitat’!
Our pioneering approach to restoring montane scrub is holistic, and we work all the way up from woodland on the lower slopes to the smallest shrubs on the upper slopes, planting native species like birch, hazel and aspen, as well as endangered species like the downy willow. Today, Ben Lawers has the best example of healthy mountain woodland in the UK. By dedicating a tree, you’re not only helping us to restore the natural beauty of this incredible mountain landscape, but to provide shelter and sustenance for wildlife and insects, and to create ideal conditions for other rare and endangered plant species to thrive.
Regenerating montane woodland
In many parts of the Scotland, deer are the main cause of woodland damage. On the slopes of Ben Lawers, however, it’s sheep who are the main culprits.
We fence off the areas we’re restoring – not the easiest task when working at altitude! – to keep the sheep out and, from the small experimental enclosures of 30 years ago, we now have 1,000 hectares protected from grazing, where woodland is being restored, giving biodiversity a huge boost.
Your donation will allow us to plant:
- Downy willow
- Downy birch
At the National Trust for Scotland, we want to connect people, plants and places, and our woodlands have a key part to play in this.
Your support will help us create a vibrant habitat full of wildlife on the slopes of Ben Lawers and to address:
Carbon capture to mitigate against climate change
Conservation of endangered species
A well-stocked tree nursery
In addition to your Dedicate a Tree certificate, you’ll receive a leaflet providing you with more information about the woodland you’re supporting and the trees we’re planting.
Every season, we’ll get in touch by email to update you on the impact of your support and we’ll share woodland videos, allowing you to follow the progress of your chosen woodland through the seasons.
When you’ve selected the woodland project you’d like to support, and confirmed your donation amount, we’ll invite you to leave a written dedication in the ‘virtual woodland’ on our website.
By doing so, you’ll not only be able to share your dedication with friends and family, you’ll also be joining a whole community of supporters who want to nurture and protect our wonderful woodlands.
Dedicate today to protect tomorrow
Woodlands and forests are often called ‘the lungs of the planet’. Through a process called woodland carbon sequestration, trees remove harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, by photosynthesis, release oxygen back while storing carbon within a natural reservoir of living biomass and soil. This makes trees our greatest allies in the battle against climate change and, by dedicating a tree, you’ll be helping us to restore and protect our vital woodlands for the benefit of everyone who loves Scotland now and in the future.