Staff blog: A new understorey emerges in the shadow of Bla Bheinn

Skye conservation officer Sarah Lewis reports on work to transform a small corner of Strathaird

Faoilin seedlings web detail

The Trust has been chipping away at a small segment of the North Faoilin forest plantation, directly above the Bla Bheinn car park on the land we look after at Strathaird in Skye.

With help from the Rural Skills team from the University of Highlands and Islands - who have been using their chainsaw training sessions to help thin out the tightly packed trees - the area is starting to regernate.

Skye Faolin workers July 2016

Thanks to higher levels of sunlight, and reduced competition from conifers acheived through light-touch silvicultural management, it hasn’t taken long for native broadleaves to start germinating. This newly developing understorey should continue to provide energy, nutrients and a home for a diversity of wild life; here and in other areas of Strathaird forestry. 

The transformation is happening as part of the broader 10 year Strathaird Forest Plan, signed off by the Forestry Commission in April of 2015 - and the harvested wood is being put to good use. We’ve been working with the team at Dunvegan Castle, who are selecting a small amount of larch for use as nature inspired handrails in their grounds, north of Portree.

Updated 2 August 2016