Forestry award for Glenlivet Estate

A new Scots pine woodland on our Glenlivet estate has won an award in the New Native Woods category at Scotland's Finest Woods Awards at the Royal Highland Show. The Altnaglander Wood in Strathavon - established in 2009 - was placed second in the competition. The 47 hectare site was, at the time, the largest native woodland scheme submitted under Scotland's rural development programme.

08 July 2011

A second stand (8.6 ha) of native woodland was planted a year later, funded through an innovative internal carbon off-set scheme. The cost of the planting was met entirely from 'carbon funding' from London's Regent Street, also part of The Crown Estate, and was designed to compensate for the carbon emissions from Regent Street's Christmas lights. The funding was ratified through the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management and conforms with the Forestry Commission's carbon code.

The Crown Estate's head of countryside management, Andrew Wells said: "Planting at Altnaglander started two years ago through local community efforts at an event organised by the Glenlivet Ranger Service to support the BBC Breathing Spaces tree o'clock world record attempt. During the event, 29 volunteers planted 2,250 trees in one hour, giving the Altnaglander Wood a great start and raising awareness of the project.

"A further 78,500 birch, rowan, Scot's pine, willow and alder were planted across the site, which adjoins an existing area of ancient semi-natural woodland (predominately birch). The species were selected to complement those in the adjacent woodland and for their suitability to the site's conditions. Adjacent to the western edge of the site is a mature conifer plantation which in the future will be restructured to remove the non-native species, retaining only Scots pine, and creating an additional native woodland habitat.

"A variety of wildlife is present in the Altnaglander area, and this new native woodland supports and encourages the area's biodiversity. A number of rare species use the area including golden eagle, wildcat, and pine marten. Natural regeneration of native tree species is also encouraged on the open areas within the planting scheme.

"The woodland site has a car park and picnic area, and an existing waymarked moorland trail which passes through the native woodland, with temporary interpretation installed alongside the path. In time, as the trees become established we intend to create a new circular path within the woodland, with interpretation panels and a native woodland leaflet."

Near to the Altnaglander woodland is an historic settlement, the 'Altnaglander township', consisting of ruins and field systems. Following an archaeological survey, the planting scheme was adapted to protect the site.

The new woodland will ultimately help to increase native woodland cover on the Glenlivet estate and protect areas of juniper, helping to complement the extensive forest plantations elsewhere on the estate. The Crown Estate adopts a long term multi-purpose management policy towards woodland management at Glenlivet and this scheme is part of ongoing efforts to diversify woodland, enhance the landscape and promote the local forest economy.