“A living tree is a changing, sleeve shape, a wet, thin, bright green creature that survives in the thin layer between heartwood and bark. It stands waiting for light, which it catches in the close-woven sieves of its leaves.”
― Alice Oswald
Conservation Weeks update
Unfortunately, Conservation Weeks will not be returning in spring 2022. Throughout the pandemic, we have followed a cautious approach putting staff and volunteers first – and this remains our priority. Volunteer accommodation at Athnamulloch Bothy is a small space in a remote location, which would present real challenges if someone tested positive for Covid-19. This was not an easy decision to make, and we are sorry for the disappointment that it will cause. We remain hopeful that Conservation Weeks will be able to return in the autumn.
Reds on the move
As part of our red squirrel reintroduction project, in 2017 we relocated 30 red squirrels to Plockton in the north west Highlands. The population is now thriving. The squirrels have expanded five miles south to Balmacara – a brilliant example of what can happen when nature gets a helping hand. Head to our Instagram for the full update.
Beaver release success
We joined Argaty Red Kites this month to share the magic of a second beaver release. If it weren’t for the strong collective action to challenge previous government policy, it could have been a very different story. It won’t take the beavers long to start creating nature-rich wetlands in their new home. Watch the release video here.
More than 50% of Scotland’s land is mountain, moor and upland. How do we rewild and bring back nature, it in a way that works for local people and livelihoods? Steve Micklewright recently spoke about these issues with Scotland’s Moorland Forum, joined by Magnus Davidson and Andrew Painting. You can watch the full discussion here.
Help save Scotland’s Rainforest
Scotland’s temperate rainforest is one of the UK’s most precious habitats, home to rare lichens, mosses, fungi and ferns. Yet few people know it exists. Trees for Life is a member of the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest, which has created this fantastic film to help raise awareness of this almost-lost habitat. You can show your support for Scotland’s Rainforest by voting for the film in the Charity Film Awards here.
Future woodland leaders
The Skills for Rewilding trainees enjoyed some hands-on woodland activity training this month. The group spent a couple days in Dundreggan’s forest with local charity Wild Things, learning new ways to engage people with nature. The trainees pitched hammocks and shelter tarps, identified different plants and insects, practised tool safety, lit a fire with natural materials, and foraged for wild food. With cold and wet weather to contend with, the pine needle tea was much appreciated – along with the sorrel butter-smothered hot potatoes!
Every day in September last year, Maeve, Lachlan and Calum Archie climbed a tree a day for fun and in the process raised more than £400 for Trees for Life. The family lives near Loch Ness, and had an excellent choice of trees to choose from, including a favourite great old granny pine. Their mum, Raghnaid, posted photos daily to the fundraiser’s JustGiving page, and the children made a cheerful bilingual Gaelic poster to promote the fundraiser. Thank you so much to this amazing family of tree climbers! You can support their efforts and see more photos here.
We would also like to thank Erin, Barbara, Esa, Jodie, Stacey, Heidi, Alasdair, Ross, Mike, and Lyndon who have all recently supported rewilding through Facebook fundraisers. A huge thanks to them, and everyone who donated.