High-altitude forest to save rare trees and boost mountain wildlife

A new high-altitude forest of 10,000 rare mountain trees supporting wildlife including golden eagles and mountain hares is to be planted near Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands by Trees for Life next spring. The waist-high trees form a unique and important wildlife-rich habitat called montane scrub. This should be common between woodlands and open…

Nature-depleted Scotland needs a new era of rewilding says landmark book

A sticking plaster approach to conservation is failing Scotland’s wildlife – and with species such as red squirrel, wild cat and capercaillie declining or on the edge of extinction, a new era of massive rewilding is needed, says a landmark new book from Trees for Life and SCOTLAND: The Big Picture. Scotland has space and…

Mountain Hares crash and burn in Scotland

A new study, conducted jointly by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the RSPB, has highlighted a catastrophic decline in Scotland’s Mountain Hare population. With numbers suspected to have fallen to less than 1% of the level recorded just 60 years ago. From 1954 to 1999, it is estimated that hare numbers decreased by…

Call for public support towards a wilder Scotland

Golden eagles, beavers, ospreys and pine martens will take centre stage in a landmark new conservation book aiming to inspire a change in attitudes and a move towards a wilder Scotland. Scotland: A Rewilding Journey will lay out a vision of how rewilding could transform Scotland and benefit its people and wildlife.  It is being supported…

Hebridean Whale Trail set to be the first of its kind in the UK

Individuals, communities and businesses are being asked to contribute ideas for top sites at which to spot whales, dolphins and porpoises from land on Scotland’s west coast – all in an effort to help create a Hebridean Whale Trail that will be the first of its kind in the UK.  The high-profile trail will be…

Record numbers of common dolphin sightings off Scotland’s west coast

Sightings of common dolphins across the Hebrides have reached a record high according to research conducted by marine conservation charity, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. Evidence collected during marine research expeditions on the Trust’s specialized research yacht, Silurian, in 2017 has revealed a dramatic 24% increase from the previous year’s already record-breaking figures. “We have never documented…

A boost to Scotland’s wild credentials

Scotland’s reputation as a mecca for wildlife tourists and landscape enthusiasts looks set to receive a welcome boost as Trees for Life joins the thriving European association of rewilding projects. With the conservation charity recently invited to become a member of the European Rewilding Network; placing its tireless efforts to restore the countries unique Caledonian…

Edward Grierson: The Importance of Community-Owned Land

For most of July, I was on holiday on the West of Scotland where, during my stay, I visited one particular island twice. This was Eigg, one of the Inner Hebrides, and an island with a remarkable story. Eigg, having been passed through successive landowners since the 12th century, suffered notorious mismanagement in the 1980s…

Flaviu – An Inadvertent Pioneer?

Almost a fortnight past, Dartmoor Zoo was the location of a daring escape. One centred on Flaviu, a male Carpathian Lynx, and his successful break for freedom. Slipping off the shackles of his captivity mere hours after being transferred to the zoo from Kent and quickly melting away into the Devon countryside where he remains…

Scotland so far, in pictures..

With little time to blog about my Scotland experience so far this year I thought I would let my pictures do the talking, for once. Below is only a small selection of the natural wonders observed so far this season, omitting many other special sights: Hen Harrier, Merlin, Golden Eagle and the like, all of…

Capering in the Cairngorms (& Black Isle)

I’ve been back from Scotland a mere few hours and already I find myself compelled to waffle about what was, in truth, a truly exquisite few days. The highlands have always captivated me; the rugged terrain, vast native forests, whisky, haggis and, of course, superb wildlife. This week found me presented with the perfect chance…