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ARTICLE: Bringing Back the Birch Belt - Scotland's Lost Mountain Woodland

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Natural woodland at high elevations has been regenerating for decades in Norway, while in Scotland it's almost extinct. But with help, Scotland's montane birch woods could be brought back to life, says Dr. Duncan Halley of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, briging climate benefits, and a natural and scenic diversity currently in short supply on Scotland's deer-ravaged moors. 

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 Doug 25 Nov 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Good to see Duncan Halley's ideas get wider exposure but I'm surprised he doesn't mention Creag Meagaidh where the birchwoods have been re-establishing themselves since the mid 1980s or Morrone birkwoods near Braemar which is very like parts of Norway or Sweden.

 tony 25 Nov 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Dave McLeod has an interesting discussion with Andy Wightman on this topic in his video about his E8 in Glen Nevis:

youtube.com/watch?v=f4XyNWxjFp8&

 Kemics 25 Nov 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I would love to see compulsory purchases of all the grouse Moors for reforesting. It seems madness that there can be deliberate destruction of staggeringly huge tracts of natural habitats and native species just to allow a tiny minority of aristocrats and emirates a hobby. Given most of the land in Scotland was literally stolen by enclosure anyway it would only be undoing the damage. 

 Phil1919 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Kemics:

They had an item on the BBC news last night about rewilding in Scotland. 

I have just finished 'Regeneration'  a book about how the Marr estate is benefitting from less deer grazing. The main message I thought was that nature can recover remarkably quickly given half a chance.

In reply to Phil1919:

> I have just finished 'Regeneration'  a book about how the Marr estate is benefitting from less deer grazing. The main message I thought was that nature can recover remarkably quickly given half a chance.

The transformation of Glen Feshie into beautiful mixed woodland in a short time is extraordinary.

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Wolves.

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Bringing back the birch sounds more like the Isle of Man.

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Thanks for the great article it offers a glimmer of hope for change.  I'd like to see more articles like this making climbers and people with an interest in the uplands/mountains/wild areas  aware of how degraded nature is there. We need to keep the pressure on to achieve this. Ban blood sport and the ecologically damaging land management involved with it, especially in national parks. 

 Ciro 07:23 Mon
In reply to Quickdrawmgraw:

> Thanks for the great article it offers a glimmer of hope for change.  I'd like to see more articles like this making climbers and people with an interest in the uplands/mountains/wild areas  aware of how degraded nature is there. We need to keep the pressure on to achieve this. Ban blood sport and the ecologically damaging land management involved with it, especially in national parks. 

Wholeheartedly agree. It seems like the damage done by our land management practices is starting to enter the public consciousness - it's great to see UKC (and Dave MacLeod in the excellent video linked above) helping that process along, more please 🙂

In reply to Kemics:

> I would love to see compulsory purchases of all the grouse Moors for reforesting. It seems madness that there can be deliberate destruction of staggeringly huge tracts of natural habitats and native species just to allow a tiny minority of aristocrats and emirates a hobby. Given most of the land in Scotland was literally stolen by enclosure anyway it would only be undoing the damage. 

I would like to see that down here too before all farmland becomes a Persimmon/Bovis etc. eco-disaster.

 inboard 18:37 Mon
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Great article. Looking forward to seeing birch belts (and associated biodiversity) on the Scottish hills. Glen Feshie and other bits around Abernethy show what’s possible. Exciting times! And interesting to think about the opportunities for new enterprises and local employment. 


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