Tree News – October 2021

“Chrome yellow autumn elm leaves find their colour rhyme in the eye-ring of the blackbird. Different aspects of the forest link unexpectedly with each other, and so it is that within the stories, different times and worlds can be joined.”

― Robert Macfarlane, The Wild Places

New hope for Scotland’s beavers

Last week, Scotland’s highest civil court ruled in favour of our legal challenge to NatureScot’s use of beaver-killing licences. From now on, NatureScot must set out openly and fully the reasons why it believes any future licence to kill beavers should be granted. The ruling also confirmed that NatureScot’s previous shoot-to-kill licences were unlawful. This is a brilliant outcome that holds the government’s nature agency to account. We wait to see how NatureScot implements the ruling in practice, and trust that the judicial review encourages a broader and more positive discussion on the beaver’s future place in Scotland. Read the full story here.

The path to rewilding

We are asking for your help to expand and improve the trails network at Dundreggan, so that people of all abilities can explore the Caledonian Forest and discover the benefits of rewilding. We need to raise £25,000 to create two new trails, and make improvements to the existing Juniper Walk so that it is fully accessible to all. Donate here.

In the community

It’s been fantastic getting back to doing school visits in person. Scoraig and Badcaul primary schools joined us at Inverewe Gardens earlier this month to learn about red squirrels. We practised identifying feeding signs and had a go at building our own dreys. Head over to our Instagram for more photos.

Order your festive gifts

The 2022 ‘Scotland’s Wild Forest’ calendar is now available to buy from our shop. We also have a new selection of wildlife and landscape greetings cards. All of these items feature a beautiful selection of images from SCOTLAND: The Big Picture. Proceeds from shop sales help our work to rewild the Scottish Highlands, so please consider supporting us this festive season.

Identifying the iconic Scots pine

In the final video of our tree identifications series, Doug Gilbert takes a look at the iconic Scots pine. As the largest and longest-lived tree in the Caledonian Forest, the Scots pine is a keystone species, forming the backbone on which many other species depend. Doug give some tips on how to differentiate Scots pine from the non-native Lodgepole pine, which includes looking for a tiny Scottish beard…

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