European Rewilding Network

Restoring the Caledonian Forest

The Caledonian Forest is a habitat unique to Scotland. It covers just 1% of its former area. Trees for Life is restoring the forest at a landscape scale through excluding browsing deer to allow natural regeneration and planting trees where natural regeneration is not possible.

Project: Restoring the Caledonian Forest
Region: Glen Affric amd Glenmoriston
Type of protection: Some protected as National Nature (NNR) Reserve and Special Area for Conservation (SAC)
Habitat types: Caledonian Forest
Keystone species: Scots pine
Fauna (mega) species present: Red deer
Type of project: Large-scale rehabilitations of natural processes, including herbivores, carnivores and/or scavengers being present, Projects based on a stewardship anchored in respect for land, water, and all living things, with a management striving to support natural processes and utilize nature’s own mechanism
Aim and vision: To restore more forest in Glen Affric and link it with Glenmoriston to link fragments of forest in neighbouring valleys.
Over 250 years, to restore the Caledonian Forest and all of its component parts, including reintroducing keystone species, so that natural processes can create a rewilded landscape that provides ecological, social and economic benefits.
Uniqueness of the project: Caledonian Forest is recognised as a habitat that is unique to Scotland. Characterised by stands of Scots Pine Trees, it includes a diverse range of other trees, including aspen and high altitude willow and birch, supporting a flora and fauna that is of global significance.
Other activities: Education, High-impact communications, Research
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: A project to achieve coast to coast connection of forest through Glen Affric will have been completed, while forests will also be being connected between valleys north of Loch Ness, with beavers being reintroduced as a keystone species.
Results so far: Over 1.3 million trees have been planted, while large areas of Glen Affric and Dundreggan have been restored through natural regeneration, largely behind fences to prevent grazing by deer. Red squirrels have also been translocated from population strongholds to areas they cannot colonise naturally, helping to secure the future of this iconic forest species in Scotland.
Inspirational value: In a world characterised by a sense of helplessness and disconnection from nature, Trees for Life's work to restore the Caledonian Forest is demonstrating that combined, collaborative human effort can restore a globally unique ecosystem.
Experience you would like to share: Involving volunteers in rewildling, cultivating montane species.
Experience you would like to gain: Developing landscape scale partnerships, species reintroductions.
Map
Country
UK, Scotland
Start year
1993
Size (ha)
12000
Area type
Northern coniferous forest
Natural process
Other
Flagship species
Red deer

The Caledonian Forest is a habitat unique to Scotland. It covers just 1% of its former area. Trees for Life is restoring the forest at a landscape scale through excluding browsing deer to allow natural regeneration and planting trees where natural regeneration is not possible.

Map
Country
UK, Scotland
Start year
1993
Size (ha)
12000
Area type
Northern coniferous forest
Natural process
Other
Flagship species
Red deer
Specification
Project: Restoring the Caledonian Forest
Region: Glen Affric amd Glenmoriston
Type of protection: Some protected as National Nature (NNR) Reserve and Special Area for Conservation (SAC)
Habitat types: Caledonian Forest
Keystone species: Scots pine
Fauna (mega) species present: Red deer
Description
Type of project: Large-scale rehabilitations of natural processes, including herbivores, carnivores and/or scavengers being present, Projects based on a stewardship anchored in respect for land, water, and all living things, with a management striving to support natural processes and utilize nature’s own mechanism
Aim and vision: To restore more forest in Glen Affric and link it with Glenmoriston to link fragments of forest in neighbouring valleys.
Over 250 years, to restore the Caledonian Forest and all of its component parts, including reintroducing keystone species, so that natural processes can create a rewilded landscape that provides ecological, social and economic benefits.
Uniqueness of the project: Caledonian Forest is recognised as a habitat that is unique to Scotland. Characterised by stands of Scots Pine Trees, it includes a diverse range of other trees, including aspen and high altitude willow and birch, supporting a flora and fauna that is of global significance.
Other activities: Education, High-impact communications, Research
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: A project to achieve coast to coast connection of forest through Glen Affric will have been completed, while forests will also be being connected between valleys north of Loch Ness, with beavers being reintroduced as a keystone species.
Results so far: Over 1.3 million trees have been planted, while large areas of Glen Affric and Dundreggan have been restored through natural regeneration, largely behind fences to prevent grazing by deer. Red squirrels have also been translocated from population strongholds to areas they cannot colonise naturally, helping to secure the future of this iconic forest species in Scotland.
Exchange
Inspirational value: In a world characterised by a sense of helplessness and disconnection from nature, Trees for Life's work to restore the Caledonian Forest is demonstrating that combined, collaborative human effort can restore a globally unique ecosystem.
Experience you would like to share: Involving volunteers in rewildling, cultivating montane species.
Experience you would like to gain: Developing landscape scale partnerships, species reintroductions.
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