THE Future Forest Company, has received approval from Scottish Forestry to plant over 300k trees on Dumyat Estate near Stirling, which it acquired early last year.
Local contractors will be assigned to plant the trees throughout March and April this year which will include a mixture of native broadleaf species and Scots pine trees. All the trees will be planted by hand to ensure they have the best chance of survival.
In addition to reforestation, several biodiversity projects are being implemented to enhance the site including rock rose planting to benefit Northern brown argus butterflies, expansion of sticky catchfly populations, wetland enhancement and wildflower meadow enhancement.
The go-ahead from Scottish Forestry follows a public consultation period during which The Future Forest Company engaged with the local community through in person events and online feedback to seek input on the plans for the site. Over the past 12 months reforestation and biodiversity specialists at the company have been working closely with residents and organisations from Stirling, Clackmannanshire and the surrounding area, ensuring the site plans reflected feedback from over 250 feedback form responses in order to positively impact the local community and wider users of the site.
The Future Forest Company received glowing feedback from the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Stirling and Clackmannanshire local group on its plans for the Dumyat site. A representative from the local group said: “This is a most diligent and thorough application in its sections on Wildlife and Biodiversity, as well as across the wider range of issues. This is of a higher standard than we have seen before in nine years of responding to these proposals. Well done to all involved.”
As a means of improving access for all, the project is providing local volunteering opportunities including The Conservation Volunteers who have been on site adding steps to the steepest part of the Menstrie track. It is also serving as an educational and research resource for Stirling University groups with students having already planted over 500 wildflowers on-site.
The next stage of the project commencing in spring involves erecting deer fencing around the property to protect the soon-to-be planted saplings. This has been carefully planned in line with public feedback to maintain visitor access and ensure the scenic views are preserved.
Estate Manager at The Future Forest Company, Jamie Adcock, said: “Ahead of planting we will be preparing the ground to give our trees a raised, weed free planting position to help ensure successful establishment so visitors may see machinery and contractors working on site in the coming months to prepare the area for planting. This will ensure that every tree planted has the best possible chance to thrive and become part of our nature-rich forests of the future.
“We love having visitors to the site and all the main recreation routes are being maintained. It will be a big change for the hillside from its previous use for sheep farming but we’re looking forward to enhancing the area for biodiversity, capturing carbon to help prevent climate change and ensuring it will be a place local people treasure for generations to come.”
The innovative company, which already manages a range of woodland sites across Scotland including Brisbane Mains in Largs, are using reforestation, habitat restoration and regenerative agriculture practises in an effort to help address climate change, restore degraded habitats and contribute to local communities.
With around a quarter of all UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species associated with trees and woodland, the reforestation project will provide a habitat for a diverse range of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, and fungi all of which will contribute to the continued good health of the forest. The natural regeneration of trees and plants will be allowed to progress on some of the sites steepest and least accessible terrain.
Full plans for the Dumyat site including an interactive map detailing woodland designs and biodiversity projects are available to view online at thefutureforestcompany.com/Dumyat.