Project LP.A3 (2015 onwards)

Future Forests

ūü镬†Future Forests

The Future Forests project focused on creating a blueprint for enhancing woodland habitat connectivity, from which the beginnings of a long-term, sustainable approach to habitat enhancement and resilience was created through activity in the Polldubh area of Glen Nevis for wildlife, public engagement and learning.

We worked with local children to start to recreate a more naturally wooded glen but also aimed to open up opportunities to engage with other, local groups with specific needs, primarily those with learning disabilities and those with terminal illnesses. The blue- print served to create an enduring legacy, developing local involvement in a sustainable, organic way and including the capacity for development and change in response to new information about habitat response and resilience. In this way the project aimed to deliver the same outcomes as a large-scale native woodland scheme, like those funded through SRDP, but delivered at a fraction of the cost and with enormous public benefit in the much slower process of delivery.

The capacity to learn from mistakes and to adapt to new information is an important element of this slower process and gave the project much greater legacy and adaptability, which is completely absent from a one-off planting scheme.

Part of this project invited the community to consider what Glen Nevis might look like in 100 years. In doing so, the project acknowledges that there are no certainties in planning for the future and we must all be adaptive. The project connected local children directly with the future of the Glen through planting new woodland, and establishing a legacy that will outlast them and their children.  The idea behind this was that people would grow with the landscape, fostering a sense of pride and ownership of their natural heritage.

After several years of cone collection from old Scots Pine Trees in Glen Nevis, the cones were sent off to have the seeds extracted and cleaned. With the help of loal schools, we grew 14,000 saplings and over the last three years we have planted 12,000 of them in the Glen. We still have enough seed for 175,000 trees in storage so we can continue planting in Glen Nevis to grow our Future Forests.

Future Forests was generously funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage, The Woodland Trust, Scottish Landfill Communities Trust, Friends of Nevis, Co-op Community Fund.

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