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Practical Results of our Work

Meallan is a 55 hectare exclosure and it was the second major project we carried out with Forest Enterprise in Glen Affric. The fence was erected in 1991, encompassing a straggle of old Scots pines and other native trees along the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh stream, together with the surrounding open ground, on the north side of Glen Affric.

The area was planned for a combination of natural regeneration from the existing trees and planting on the open ground. Between 1992 and 1994, Trees for Life staff and volunteers planted 28,100 Scots pines inside the exclosure, and 56 aspens were also planted there in 1994.

The photographs below illustrate the natural regeneration of some of the broadleaved trees which has taken place since the fence was completed in 1991.

4 years growth

September 1995. Trees for Life Field Officer Adam Powell showing the participants of our first Conservation Holiday focaliser training programme the natural regeneration of downy birches and eared willow which has taken place in the 4 years since this area was fenced to protect it from overgrazing by red deer.

12 years growth

Paul Kendall, Trees for Life Assistant Field Officer, and Adam Powell beside the same trees in September 2003, showing how much they have grown since the previous photograph was taken.

16 years growth

Alan Watson Featherstone beside the same trees in May 2007, showing the results of another 4 years' growth.

16 years growth

This is what these trees looked like in early October 2009. The rowans in particular produced a lot of berries, which in turn will lead to a new generation of young trees becoming established.

View from the fence in 1992

Alan Watson Featherstone at the gate of the Meallan exclosure in 1992, shortly after the fence was completed.

View from the fence in 2007

The same scene in May 2007. Some of the naturally regenerating birch trees are visible, just above the gate in the photograph.

View from the fence in 2009

October 2009 and the vigorous growth of the young Scots pines
is clearly visible, in addition to the birches.

Vanessa Collingridge planting a holly seedling

Trees for Life Patron Vanessa Collingridge about to plant a young holly tree at Meallan on the 4th of July 2007. Note the healthy growth of the Scots pines planted in 1992/3.

Alan Watson Featherstone

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Published: 16 March 2004
Last updated: 25 August 2010

Trees for Life is an award winning conservation charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest
and all its species to a large contiguous area in the Highlands of Scotland.

Trees for Life is a registered charity Scottish charity No. SC021303, and a company limited by guarantee No. 143304 with its registered offices at Forres, Scotland.
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Photos © Alan Watson (unless otherwise indicated) - Banner Credits - Illustrations © Caragh McAuley

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