Highlands & Islands

Bid to create Scotland's 'largest high-altitude woods'

Scots pine forest Image copyright Arterra
Image caption The plan is for Scots pine to be planted on lower ground

A conservation charity wants to plant what it describes as Scotland's largest high-altitude woodland.

Findhorn-based Trees for Life has proposed creating the 100,000-tree, 700 acre (283 ha) wood at its Dundreggan Estate in Glenmoriston, near Loch Ness.

It said it would resemble upland woodlands once found widely in Scotland before they were lost to "overgrazing by sheep and deer".

The site at Carn na Caorach is up to 600m (1,968ft) above sea level.

Supported by Scottish Natural Heritage funding, Trees for Life has fenced off an area in a bid to protect young trees.

Trees such as downy willow and dwarf birch, species dubbed "wee trees", will be planted on higher ground and Scots pine and juniper at lower levels.

Image copyright Trees for Life
Image caption The site at Carn na Caorach is up to 600m (1,968ft) above sea level

Trees for Life hopes to create a habitat suitable for wildlife including golden eagles.

Doug Gilbert, Trees for Life's Dundreggan manager, said: "Montane woodlands are a vital part of Scotland's precious Caledonian Forest, but are often restored over only small areas, if at all.

"To bring these special wee trees back from the brink, and create habitats for the wildlife that depends on them, we need something bigger - and that's what we're setting out to achieve at Carn na Caorach."