A project aimed at protecting and restoring a picturesque Highland glen and its wildlife – including golden eagles, red squirrels and Scottish wildcats – could receive a major funding boost if it attracts enough public support.
Glen Affric Landscape Project, run by conservation charity Trees for Life, has been named as a finalist in the European Outdoor Conservation Association’s “Outdoor” funding scheme.
The winner, which will receive almost £20,000, will be chosen after an online vote, with voting closing on Monday October 6.
And the charity, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is encouraging as many people as possible to support its work in Glen Affric, near Cannich in Inverness-shire, by placing a vote.
Trees for Life’s executive director, Alan Watson Featherstone, said: “We are asking people to vote for us and help make the most of this opportunity to protect one of Scotland’s finest wilderness forests.
“Glen Affric has been described as the most beautiful glen in Scotland and this is a golden opportunity to help conserve its wildlife and wild places and to reverse centuries of forest loss.”
The Caledonian Forest at Glen Affric supports over 1,000 animal species and the pinewoods in the glen’s eastern reaches represent the largest surviving core area of native pinewood.
Working in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland, which manages the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, the charity aims to enhance and extend the pinewood and conserve its rare forest-dependent wildlife through a range of activities.
These include planting 20,000 trees, as well as endangered plants. Non-native trees and plants will be removed and habitats restored.
The work will also provide hands-on forest restoration training and volunteering opportunities for hundreds of people through forest skills courses, volunteer restoration days and conservation weeks.
And guided walks and leaflets will help to boost the local and Highland economy through a growth in visitors for nature-based tourism, hill walking and outdoor and adventure pursuits.
Anyone wishing to vote for Trees for Life to receive the funding can do so at www.treesforlife.org.uk/voteTFL