Welcome to Trees for Life
Trees for Life is Scotland’s leading conservation volunteering charity. Founded in 1989, our vision is to restore Scotland’s ancient Caledonian Forest to a spectacular wilderness region of 1,000 square miles of mountains and glens to the west of Inverness and Loch Ness.
The ancient Caledonian Forest once covered a large part of the Highlands as extensive stands of majestic Scots pines, interspersed with birch, rowan, juniper and aspen trees. It was Scotland’s equivalent of the rainforest, but has been reduced to just a tiny fraction of its former range. Most of the surviving forests now consist of old trees reaching the end of their lifespan, with no new trees replacing them because of overgrazing by deer and sheep. Urgent action is required to conserve and extend these forests before it is too late.
We are working with a number of partners across our Project Area including Forestry Commission Scotland, The National Trust for Scotland, RSPB and private landowners, to grow the Caledonian Forest of the future through planting native trees, removing non-native species and fencing seedlings to protect them from overgrazing. Our long term goal is to create a mature, healthy Caledonian Forest and to reintroduce missing species of wildlife, such as the beaver, wild boar, brown bear, lynx and wolf, which formerly lived in the forest.
In 2008 we purchased Dundreggan Estate, an area of 10,000 acres of wild land near Loch Ness, where we have established a major forest restoration programme. This includes growing rare trees in our specialist tree nursery, running volunteer Conservation Weeks and planting groves of trees generously funded by our supporters.
Our work is about people as much as places. The majority of our forest restoration work is carried out by volunteers, with hundreds of people joining us from all over the world every year to carry out rewarding and enjoyable conservation work to restore native habitats.
Our volunteers have already planted a million trees and we have now set ourselves an ambitious target to establish our second million in just five years - helping to secure the Caledonian Forest for generations to come.