Trees for Life

The Dundreggan Estate Forest Restoration Project

Put simply, Trees for Life’s purchase of the £1.65 million, 10,000 acre (4,000 hectare) Dundreggan Estate is the biggest recent land purchase solely for the purposes of forest restoration. We are now seeking funding of £1.06m to implement a management plan that will see the native forest returned to this environmentally strategic site in the Highlands.

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Registered Charity in Scotland (SC021303)




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Only 1% of the Caledonian Forest remains, as isolated remnants in the Scottish Highlands. It is Trees for Life’s (TFL) vision to restore this fantastic ecosystem to a large area as a contribution towards addressing climate change and deforestation. The charity has purchased the Dundreggan Estate to create a forest corridor between two glens north of Loch Ness. This is a huge up-scaling of our work and is to be in addition to the reforesting work we already carry out. Today, Dundreggan is mostly open, treeless ground. Heavy overgrazing by deer and sheep prevent the healthy growth of woodland and other vegetation communities. Non-native conifer plantations cover around 300 hectares to the southwest. By 2058, Dundreggan will be a landscape of diverse natural forest cover. • There will be a great variety of species, with more oak, hazel, ash, scots pine and birch. A greater diversity of wildlife will be on the land, including red squirrel, capercaillie, European beaver, osprey, golden eagle, and plants like creeping ladies tresses and twinflower. • Natural bog communities will be healthy and vibrant. • The conifer plantation will be replaced with native forest and scattered open glades. • Biological inventory work, scientific research and monitoring or restoration efforts will have made the project a demonstration model for other sites in the UK. • Many people will have been inspired through taking part in hundreds of TFL’s Volunteer Conservation Work Weeks on the estate, educational visits, and low impact visitor access and interpretation materials. • Neighbouring estates will undertake forest restoration work with TFL’s support. The projected expenses include: Capital Costs including: purchase of Dundreggan Lodge, Loch Liath (30 ha approx), Building work to convert Lodge for volunteers, new Field Office on site, minibus for volunteers, crew cab pick up for resident site manager. £360,200 over 5 years. Activity Costs including: new planting, tree enrichment, wild boar project, tree nursery, audience and access development, staff costs (project manager, site manager), professional fees (biological surveys, eg: lichen, mammals aquatic invertebrates), overheads. £809,500 over 5 years. We are happy to arrange site visits to the estate or send further information about this exciting project and our funding requirements.