Through community land ownership and management, and working with other landowners, KFT are working to regenerate the woodland on Knoydart. Our shared long term vision is to link woodland habitats across the peninsula from Loch Nevis to Loch Hourn, creating stepping stones for plants and wildlife. This will help to support biodiversity and resilience of the habitat and address climate change issues as well as provide many other benefits. How we do it... As woodland cover had declined over the years there is a lack of existing seed sources so we have to plant trees in order to expand the woodland. The planted trees need to be protected by temporary deer fencing because of the high deer density on the land. Once the woodlands are resilient enough the fences will be taken down.
Woodland and planting design takes into account many factors including soil, location, access (public & woodland management), landscape, deer management. In areas where there is good access for woodland management woodland is designed to provide quality timber for future generations. The White Gate new woodland was the first new bit of ground we have planted that had good enough access and soils to justify planting a timber crop. The planting was in two parts, the higher ground was planted with a native mixture including a lot of oak on the richer soil, a smaller area on the lower more accessible ground was planted with a mixture designed to produce locally useful timber at a locally useful scale. We worked with Forest Research to design a planting pattern based on a form of planting developed in Germany called cluster planting. “Main crop” trees (eg oak) are planted close together in clusters and are surrounded by “trainer trees” that like to grow straight up (eg hornbeam). The idea is that this will encourage the main crop trees to grow straight and with small side branches. The ground between the clusters is planted with “nurse trees” that protect the clusters and provide a shorter term timber crop.
There are currently 919 hectares of community owned woodland on Knoydart - that's equivalent to 919 full size rugby pitches! Come and explore....
What's next... We have identified several potential sites to establish new woodlands over the next 5 to 10 years in our renewed Woodland Management and Forest Plan. Over the next 5 years we are establishing 4 new woodlands on community owned land - Mary Ann's, Ben's, Abhainn Bheag and Coire Sgeucha - a total of 193 hectares and 265,000 trees. The detail of each these sites has been developed in consultation with the community and other stakeholders, and liaison with Forestry Commission Scotland to make sure that the design and location of these sites is right. How you can help... You can help these new woodlands to flourish by donating to our Plant KnoydarTrees campaign