Woodlands in the Park contain the largest remaining areas of semi-natural woodland habitats and the most extensive area of boreal forest in Britain. Expanding, enhancing and making more connections between woodlands is a focus for conservation in the National Park
‘Pearls in Peril’ project
Trees are being planted for the benefit of fish! Climate change predictions suggest that water temperatures on exposed headwaters will increase to potentially lethal levels for salmon and freshwater pearl mussels.
The Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland ‘pearls in peril’ project is restoring and improving riparian habitat by planting native trees and fencing riverbanks – bringing trees to the uplands and shading rivers.
Through the work of the River Dee Trust, the Spey Fisheries Board and the River South Esk Trust the ‘Pearls in Peril’ project has planted hundreds of native broadleaved trees in the upper catchments to provide shade. These might be the first few threads that could one day tie the woodlands of Deeside, Donside and Strathspey together.
For more information contact Flora Grigor-Taylor or Steff Ferguson
The Caledonian Pine
The Caledonian pinewoods in the National Park are greater in total area and individual size and better connected than anywhere else in Scotland. Expansion, enhancement and improving connectivity in suitable and strategic places, will further enhance habitat networks and build on the already outstanding importance.
More than one-third of the conifer plantations are on Ancient Woodland Sites; these plantations comprise nearly half the woodland in the Park. The appropriate management of existing planted conifer woodlands significantly improves their biodiversity value, to the extent where they can almost equal that of native pine woods.
Birches are the principal trees in most of the broad-leaved woods in the Park. Along with stands of aspen, a rare component of woods, they contribute hugely to the biodiversity of woodlands. Grazing management, habitat loss, lack of regeneration and fragmentation are the key issues for birch and aspen woodlands. The Park also holds Scotland’s largest extent of bog woodland, excellent habitat for dragonflies, amphibians and mosses.
Woodland Trust ancient woodland restoration project
Plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) are ancient woods that have been felled and re-planted. In most PAWS remnant historic and ecological features still survive in amongst the plantation crop – vital links back to the original ancient woodland.
Positive management of PAWS can make a major contribution to the overall biodiversity value of our woodlands. The Woodland Trust has recently secured Heritage Lottery funding to do just that and the Cairngorms is one of two areas in Scotland chosen to be part of the largest UK ancient woodland restoration project.
If you manage a PAW site, Woodland Trust can provide free, expert advice and support. For more information contact Alan Crawford.