Expansion of hazel in Glen Affric
Practical Results of our Work
Hazel trees occur in the eastern part of Glen Affric, especially between Badger Falls and Dog Falls. A few isolated groups of trees occur further west, as far as the eastern end of Loch Affric, indicating that hazel was formerly more widely distributed in the glen. Although it would naturally be comparatively scarce in the Caledonian Forest, hazel is nonetheless an important tree that supports a special community of lichens and its nuts are a significant food source for small mammals such as wood mice and the red squirrel.
Trees for Life began work to regenerate hazel in Glen Affric in the mid-1990s, and we've protected naturally-occurring seedlings with individual Netlon tree guards, to enable them to grow without being overgrazed by red deer. We also began a programme of hazel propagation at our tree nursery at Plodda Lodge, and the first trees from that were planted out in Glen Affric in May 1997. Those plantings were done just west of some of the last surviving hazel trees on the north shore of Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin, seeking to mimic how the species would spread again naturally in the absence of excessive grazing pressure.
The photographs below show the progress of one of these trees in the years since then.
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Published: 19 December 2007
Last updated: 31 January 2014