Results of our work
Since it was founded in 1989, with vital help from our volunteers, supporters and corporate supporters, Trees for Life has planted more than 1 million trees. We've created 4,000 hectares of new Caledonian Forest and have worked at 45 different locations across our Project Area. In this section, you can read more about some of the results of our work.
A list of our achievments can be found on our accomplishments page. The rest of this results page will guide you through the practical results of our work.
Following our purchase of the 4,000 hectare (10,000 acre) Dundreggan Estate in Glen Moriston in 2008, we began practical work there in 2009. One of the first actions was to facilitate the regeneration of aspen trees, through the protection of aspen suckers growing off the roots of mature trees in the woodland. These suckers are highly palatable to red deer, so were heavily overgrazed and unable to grow successfully. By protecting them with individual tree guards, some spectacular results were achieved in just a few months.
Athnamulloch 1 is a 63 hectare exclosure in Glen Affric that was fenced by Forestry Commission Scotland in 1989. Trees for Life staff and volunteers planted 20,000 Scots pine seedlings there in 1991-2, and rowan, birch and eared willow trees have all regenerated naturally. We've produced two features on the growth has taken place since then, and these can be seen at A Forest Reborn: Ten Years of Restoration at Athnamulloch 1 and An ancient forest re-born, 20 years on.
Coille Ruigh na Cuileige
A 50 hectare exclosure was created at Coille Ruigh na Cuileige in 1990. The area was rich in seedlings, but they were very heavily suppressed by grazing pressure. Since then the area has been left to allow natural regeneration to run its course. It is the only exclosure on Forest Enterprise land in Glen Affric where natural regeneration is the sole method of forest recovery.
- 20 years of regeneration at Coille Ruigh
- Photos showing the progress of the 'champion pine' since 1992
- 17 years of regrowth amidst standing dead pines
The Coire Ghaidheil exclosure encompasses a section of the Allt Coire Ghaidheil stream at the eastern-most end of West Affric, and it protects the largest concentration of trees remaining on the virtually-treeless estate. Since the fence went up, natural regeneration has been proceeding well, providing a seed source for future generations of trees.
Corrimony (RSPB reserve)
Since autumn 1999 our volunteers have helped to plant out nearly 100,000 trees on the RSPB Corrimony reserve, spent 700 volunteer days on felling non-native species and over 200 volunteer days removing redundant deer fences. We have also helped to block drainage ditches, previously ploughed for commercial forestry, to help restore and maintain the reserve’s mires and bog pools.
Allt Beithe Garbh
Allt Beithe Garbh is a 9.5 hectare exclosure that was erected in 1994 on the National Trust for Scotland's West Affric Estate, in the first phase of the forest restoration programme we carried out there. The area was protected to facilitate the natural regeneration of the birch, rowan and eared willow trees that still survived there, clinging on to the side of the Allt Beithe Garbh stream.
Planting and natural regeneration at Meallan: photographs and descriptions of the restoration of Scots pine, downy birch, eared willow, aspen, holly and other native trees at this site in Glen Affric since 1991.
Glac Daraich is a 35 hectare fenced exclosure that we funded on Forestry Commission Scotland land in Glen Affric in 1992. Trees for Life staff and volunteers planted over 24,000 Scots pines there in 1993 and 1994, with some aspen and other broadleaved trees being added later. Natural regeneration has also occurred from seeds produced by the few mature native trees that still survived on the site when the fence was put up.
Expansion of hazel in Glen Affric
Since the mid-1990s Trees for Life has worked on the Expansion of hazel in Glen Affric, protecting naturally-occurring seedlings and planting others propagated at Plodda Lodge.
The Trees for Life Aspen Project
The Trees for Life Aspen Project has four main elements: surveying and mapping of existing stands; protection of ramets or suckers at existing stands to facilitate natural regeneration; propagation and planting of young aspens; and research into the ecology of aspen.
A hundred thousand trees in 2007...
In 2007, as part of the UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign, Trees for Life committed to planting a hundred thousand trees. And with a lot of hard work from staff and volunteers, and generous donations from supporters, we did it! This is in addition to the over half-million trees planted by Trees for Life up to 2006, and the many naturally-regenerating seedlings we have protected.
- Over 100,000 trees planted in 2007!, Caledonia Wild!, Winter 2007-8
- Conservation charity exceeds 100,000 trees target
- Celebrity support for tree planting initiative
- Planting drive launched by students from around the world
- 100,000 Trees Appeal
... and 250,000 more in 2008-9
We have pledged to plant another quarter of a million trees during 2008 and 2009. During the 2008 work weeks we planted approximately 107,000 trees towards this pledge.
Many of the trees we plant are in dedicated groves to commemorate births, weddings, memorials and various celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries. You can also dedicate trees with a tree certificate, printed with the message of your choice. The details of where and when these trees have been planted are available here.
What happens to unprotected seedlings?
Photos in this section date back to 1992. Our overgrazing page shows how, over a similar period of time, a heavily-browsed rowan has made no net growth. This is the situation across much of the Highlands.
Published: 16 March 2004
Last updated: 22 April 2013