Four woodlands in Aberdeenshire and the Highlands and islands managed by the National Trust for Scotland have been chosen to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
The Queen’s Green Canopy recently announced the network of 70 ancient woodlands and 70 ancient trees across the United Kingdom which will form part of the “Ancient Canopy” to celebrate 70 years of royal service.
Four of the conservation charity’s woodlands have been selected to be part of the network:
- Coille Mhòr at Balmacara in Wester Ross, an excellent example of Scotland’s rainforest, a type of temperate rainforest that is severely threatened globally (sometimes known as Atlantic or Celtic rainforest). Its ancient oak trees and many other tree species combine to support scarce and important lower plants like lichens, bryophytes, ferns and mosses. The site also plays host to a nationally significant assemblage of dragonflies and damselflies.
- Corrieshalloch Gorge, Wester Ross is a site of special scientific interest and national nature reserve designated for its Upland Birch Wood as well as its incredible geomorphological features. The hanging wood that clings to the gorge side has a wide range of tree species including birch, hazel, aspen, sessile oak, rowan, which elm and guelder rose. It is rich in woodland plants including wood anemone, wood sorrel, sanicle, blue bell, primrose, wood mellick, water avens, golden saxifrage, and mosses, liverworts and ferns.
- Mar Lodge Estate, Aberdeenshire includes Caledonian pinewoods and birchwoods and native woodland plantations, the Mar Lodge Estate woodlands sprawl across several glens, forming part of the 30,000 ha Mar Lodge Estate, the largest national nature reserve in the UK. Its oldest tree dates back to 1477. The estate’s woods accounts for around 5% of Scotland’s remaining Caledonian Pinewood.
- Merkland Wood at Brodick Country Park on Arran is part of a nationally significant wider historic designed landscape surrounding Brodick Castle, which dates back to at least 1703.
A wonderful demonstration of the diversity of woodland habitats
Stuart Brooks, at the National Trust for Scotland said: “We are very honoured that four of our most important woodlands have been selected to be part of this celebration.
“They are a wonderful demonstration of the diversity of woodland habitats that the Trust has in its care, from the rare Atlantic rainforest of Wester Ross, the dramatic Corrieshalloch Gorge and the ancient pines at Mar Lodge to the species rich Merkland Wood on the isle of Arran.”
By sharing the stories behind the Ancient woodlands and trees, as well as the incredible efforts that are made to protect them, The Queen’s Green Canopy aims to raise awareness of these treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations.