Trees for Life
Restoring the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands and inspiring thousands of visitors and volunteers every year
Trees for Life was founded in 1986 by the visionary ecologist Alan Watson Featherstone. It seeks to restore the Caledonian Forest that once covered much of Scotland but is now reduced to tiny fragments. So far its volunteers have planted over one million trees, raised from local seed in its own nursery.
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In 2008, using money it raised through public appeals, Trees for Life bought the 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate in Glenn Moriston. It consisted of a few hooked old pines and ancient aspens, birch and juniper clinging to life. The rest of the land had been grazed to the quick by the overstocked deer, or planted with dismal lines of exotic conifers. Emerging from the eroded peat were the stumps of the trees that once grew there, and died long ago.
The charity hopes to bring red squirrels, capercaillie, beaver, wild boar, lynx and wolves back to their native habitats. It has already established an experimental population of wild boar in an enclosure. Their rooting helps tree seedlings to break through the bracken and regenerate naturally. The charity is also planting and helping regeneration in other key Highland locations, including Glen Affric (pictured).
Trees for Life is an inspiration for the thousands of visitors and volunteers who become involved in its projects every year. And for rewilding projects around Britain.