First thousand trees planted at the Heart of Scotland Forest

Schiehallion Land Manager Liz Auty reports on the progress of the groundbreaking Heart of Scotland Forest Partnership project

Hosfp napier msc students planting detail

Thanks to everyone who donated to our Heart of Scotland Forest Appeal, it’s been a busy time at Schiehallion over the winter and spring.

Despite the fact that we had a tough winter (and it was beginning to feel a bit like Narnia at one stage) we have been moving forward with our woodland plan as part of our work with the Heart of Scotland Partnership. We’ve had great help and advice from Iain Moss at Woodland Trust Scotland, and from Heather Hamilton and Willie McGhee at Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust.

Contractor Euro Forest has now felled and extracted three hectares of conifer plantation – mainly Sitka spruce and lodgepole pine. Following on from this, Robertson Fencing has been working to install a new deer fence to enclose the area where new trees will be planted. Part of this work will involve replanting the areas that have been felled. We are also creating 4.5 hectares of new woodland and we expect that there will be additional areas where trees will regenerate naturally.

With the deer fence almost complete, work is now starting on the electric fence out to Glen Mhor, which will enclose another, larger area of around 72 hectares to allow natural regeneration to take place.

Visitors to the yurt during artist Karen Rann’s Lines of Attraction residency in the first week of her visit, then were joined in the second week for more tree-planting by MSc students from Edinburgh Napier University and by all the pupils from the nearby Kenmore Primary School. Finally a group from George Watson’s college also helped with planting as part of their Conserve John Muir Award challenge. In total, we have now planted the first 1,000 trees, in the area close to the Braes of Foss car park.

We will be doing lots more planting in the autumn, so look out for opportunities to get involved.

HoSFP Kenmore PS planting

Photos show students from Napier (top) and Kenmore Primary School (above) planting native trees.