Planting native trees in Knoydart

Our generous supporters are helping to regenerate native woodlands in Knoydart, bringing this special place back to life

Stephen ballard 1080358 detail

Li and Coire Dhorrcail within the Knoydart National Scenic Area was our first land acquisition, in one of the most remote and beautiful parts of Scotland.

Now, after 25 years of hard work, this beautiful scenic area is gradually recovering from the ecological impoverishment we inherited, the woodlands are spreading and native ecosystems are springing back to life.

In 2015, we launched a fundraising appeal to raise £60,000 to expand native woodland in Knoydart and help regenerate habitats for a wide range of plants, animals and insects. Our goal was to plant 50,000 trees over four years, increasing native tree cover to over 10% to make a significant difference to the area’s biodiversity.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters, we managed to beat our fundraising target, and since then our team of staff and volunteers, led by Knoydart property manager Lester Standen, have been busy planting, weeding and growing.

Volunteers at Knoydart

Your donations have enabled us to plant 11,000 birch, hazel and alder trees, and germinate 15,000 Scots pine seeds. After two growing seasons, these will be ready to plant in spring 2018.

Work has also continued preparing a new tree nursery at Inbhir Dhorrcail, and now that it’s ready for use, the team plans to plant a further 10,000 trees in Spring 2017.

Alongside the planting work, dedicated work parties of volunteers have spent time clearing invasive species, repairing paths, maintaining fencing to protect the seedlings, and collecting birch seeds for further seedling production.

Knoydart pine nursery June 2016

This work is already having an impact. Native wildlife like pine martens, otters, bats and woodland birds are beginning to return to the area, and as the woodland continues to expand, more and more wildlife will make its home in Knoydart.

We’re on track to reach our goals in Knoydart. With our supporters' help, we have made a real difference to this special place and, as the woodlands spread, it’s an impact that will be felt for generations to come.

Read more about our work in Knoydart and watch our short film on our property page, or keep updated with our work by signing up for our emails.

Want to volunteer on a Knoydart work party? Find out about conservation volunteering opportunities