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Planting up the Highlands

Longterm woodland project at Glensanda Quarry

By Phil Jackson, Biodiversity and Restoration Manager

November 2014

We have planted 13.7ha of native broad leaved woodland on Glensanda as an extension to important habitat for biodiversity which has been disappearing on the western Scottish coast. This importance is heightened due to the proximity to the SSSI woodland on the southern march and the designation of ancient woodland on the fragments that remain around Camus Chronaig approximately 1km away.

The native woodland creation is designed to expand the existing native woodland joining two fragments together and creating a larger area of this important habitat which will also support the pine martin and wildcat. A right of way runs along the Sanda river bank and follows the track in between the two compartments. This will now be enhanced as the walk will be through this small section of native woodland planting which is being promoted with the local communities. All trees planted to date (approximately 17,000) are of west Scotland provenance, tree spacing 1600 stems per hectare with 15% unplanted open ground overall. The open areas included rock outcrops and deep peat which are good habitat for the moths and butterflies we are aiming to protect.

With regards to further potential to enhance biodiversity on site we are in discussions with the Forestry Commission regarding further areas for tree planting. There is also talks with Scottish Wildlife Trust to promote another Living Landscape project based on the work commenced on this site. Other habitats included in the BMP for management are Upland Communities, a lichen survey of ancient woodland areas and a bryology survey of the whole site. The site is being monitored through annual walkover surveys and transects for both habitats and the key species listed here.  The site is also undertaking certification to The Wildlife Trusts. 

Lowther Forestry has been given this mammouth task of inspecting and maintaining 2,500m of fencing to ensure that Red deer do not enter and damage the naitive woodland planting.

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