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. How we do it... Due to the lack of existing seed sources we have to plant trees in order to expand the woodland. The planted trees need to be protected by deer fencing because of the high deer density on the land. Once the woodlands are resilient enough the fences will be taken down.
LOOKING AFTER THE WOODS
RESTRUCTURING INVERIE WOODS
Inverie Woods provide the backdrop to Inverie village. They cover an area of 240 hectares and are enclosed by a deer fence that goes into the see at Scottas and Kilchoan. The woods are made up of conifers planted between 1963 and 1971, areas that have been recently clearfelled and replanted, small pockets of ancient native woodland and naturally regenerating native trees. We are managing this valuable woodland resource to provide multiple benefits now and in the future.
Many of the conifers planted in the 60/70s are blowing down. We have a 20 year plan to harvest the unstable conifers and replant with mixtures of trees that will provide useful quality timber for the future and greater biodiversity. We have completed 2 phases of harvesting in Inverie Woods in 2007 & 2015. A total of 12,500 tonnes of timber has been harvested, most of this was exported by boat and sold to big sawmills and some was kept to meet local milling and firewood needs. In 2008 the cleared areas with better soil and access have been replanted with species that will be useful for timber in the future such as oak and western red cedar. Other areas have been replanted with species that have a high habitat value such as Scots pine, birch and rowan. The areas harvested in 2015 were replanted in 2017/18.
Trees and woodland play an important role in safeguarding biodiversity by providing a patchwork of wildlife rich habitats to form the building blocks of an ecologically sustainable landscape. We are actively managing our woods to increase biodiversity - here's how we do it: Rhodie Eradication Rhododedron ponticum (commonly known as rhodies) was first introduced to Knoydart by the Victorians – they are highly invasive and outcompete most other plants, suppress ground flora, spread vigourously and dominate habitats casuing the loss of variety and abundance of other plant life and other orgnaisms. Since 1999, we have cleared 55 hecatres of dense rhodies over an area of 250 hectares on community owned land with a little help from our our friends! Nowadays we monitor and remove regrowth every year to make sure that we protect the land for the future.
Native Woodland Regeneration The ancient native woodland from Millburn to Scottas is regenerating. We are helping this happen by planting species such as oak that are slower to regenerate (these trees are also favoured by the deer so are given extra protection with platic tubes until the are strong enough). We maintain the fence around Inverie to keep the deer out and work with the Knoydart Foundation to cull deer inside the fence to manage the impact of deer on the habitat. Thinning We thin the trees in the forest by ring barking to favour native woodland and create gaps to encourage natural regeneration. A ring is cut around the bark of the tree to cut off the suppply of nutreients from the roots, killling the tree but leaving it standing providing the added benefits of the deadwood ecosystems. Deadwood Management Where possible we leave fallen trees and branches on the woodand floor as deadwood provides habitat and food sources for lichens, fungi, bryophytes and a vast array of invertebrates, hole nesting birds and mammals.
MAKING THE MOST OF OUR TIMBER
Adding value to our timber resource provides income that is reinvested in the woodland and local economy, provides local employment and skills development, and reduces our community's carbon footprint. The forest workshop in Inverie is our base for making the most of our timber
So that you can explore and enjoy our woods we have created a network of paths and tracks. There are lots of things to see and do in the woods, whether you just like to stroll and take in nature or like to be a bit more adventurous. We have a red and blue mountain bike trail, benches and shelters and sculptures throughout the woods. Pick up one of our leaflets in the Knoydart Foundation Display Room in Inverie and get exploring!
Here's a little overview of what we do to make our land work for our community and trees!
The Knoydart Forest Trust is a Scottish Charity (No:SCO292274)
Company Limited by Guarantee (No:194055)