Plant­ing sows the seeds of Glen Rosa re­ju­ve­na­tion

The Arran Banner - - News -

The plant­ing of more than 280 trees in Glen Rosa has kick started a ma­jor con­ser­va­tion project aimed at pro­tect­ing and con­serv­ing the fauna and flora in the glen.

With fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the Peo­ple’s Post­code Lot­tery and the hard work of the Loth­ian Con­ser­va­tion Vol­un­teers, the plant­ing is just the be­gin­ning of a much larger un­der­tak­ing.

Ex­ten­sive plant­ing will take place next win­ter when about 40,000 trees will be planted over 40 hectares, once a pro­tec­tive bound­ary fence has been cre­ated, as first re­ported by the Ban­ner back in June.

The erec­tion of the fence is sched­uled for Septem­ber next year and it will pro­tect the freshly planted saplings from graz­ing an­i­mals.

Most of the trees that were planted by the vol­un­teers have been grown from seeds col­lected on Ar­ran and nur­tured by the Healthy Out­doors Team which is con­tin­u­ing to plant seeds for next year’s ma­jor plant­ing.

The Loth­ian vol­un­teers, some of whom have been vol­un­teer­ing on Ar­ran for more than 20 years, in­tro­duced a few new vol­un­teers to the won­ders of Glen Rosa and between them, they made a de­ter­mined start on the plant­ing of Ar­ran na­tive trees such as up­land birch, hazel, aspen and white­beam, rowan and oak.

The vol­un­teers also played an im­por­tant part in the con­ser­va­tion of the area by tak­ing part in a slash and burn day where pro­lific and dom­i­neer­ing rhodo­den­dron were re­moved to widen a sec­tion of the Ry­den path in the coun­try park.

The Glen Rosa project will bring new life to more than 400 hectares – with 40 hectares ear­marked for re­plant­ing of trees which pre­vi­ously thrived there – and will help to re­ju­ve­nate the area which has suf­fered un­der years of over­graz­ing by deer and sheep.

An­other tree plant­ing day will take place on Thurs­day De­cem­ber 6 when vol­un­teers will be able to help make a dif­fer­ence and en­joy the ca­ma­raderie and pos­si­bly wildlife sight­ings that the group en­joyed ear­lier this month. In ad­di­tion to a golden sun­set and spec­tac­u­lar scenery, vol­un­teers en­joyed a flyby from a pair of golden ea­gles which was a high­light for many of the vis­i­tors.

Book­ing for the tree plant­ing day is es­sen­tial and vol­un­teers can book their place by email­ing goat­[email protected] or by phon­ing 01770 302462. Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on vol­un­teer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties at the Na­tional Trust for Scot­land can be found at www. nts.org.uk/vol­un­teer­ing

Mem­bers of the Loth­ian Con­ser­va­tion Vol­un­teers group in­cludes some who have been vis­it­ing for more than 20 years, while for oth­ers this was their first time on Ar­ran.

A vol­un­teer plants an Ar­ran White­beam – en­demic to Ar­ran and one of the world’s rarest trees – prop­a­gated by Henry Murdo and Margo Mclel­lan, and then cared for by the Healthy Out­doors Team.

A num­ber of trees are planted in the bracken ar­eas ow­ing to the soil be­ing deeper and less acidic than other parts of the glen.

Vol­un­teers share a laugh among the bracken while plant­ing trees.

A two-year-old oak tree be­ing planted. The tree was grown from an acorn by Jo and Colin Totty, who prop­a­gated, pro­tected and nur­tured a large num­ber of trees for fu­ture plant­ing.

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