Schiehallion is an iconic mountain and regarded as one of the easiest yet most satisfying of the Munros to "bag" – as those ticking off Scotland’s highest peaks like to put it. Those who do make it to the summit can, on a clear day at least, look east to see one of the challenges to meaningful forest conservation. There are woods but they are fragmented. Well, not for much longer!
The Heart of Scotland Woodland Partnership brings together five landowners with the aim of linking up existing woodland to create a thriving wildlife corridor stretching across more than 50 square kilometres between Schiehallion and Loch Tummel. Working at landscape-scale gives the partners more conservation clout than we would have individually.
Partners involved are John Muir Trust, Forest Enterprise’s Foss Estate, Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust’s Dun Coillich Estate, Kynachan Estate and Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Keltneyburn Nature Reserve. Co-operation will lead to more conservation clout than the partners may have individually.
The plan is to turn this vast upland area into a living breathing landscape of native trees, woodland corridors, flourishing wildlife and picturesque footpaths. A further aim is to bring locals and visitor closer to the land. Willie McGhee of Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust, which manages the Dun Coillich woodland said: “We believe this project will benefit the local community right from the start by bringing new funding into the area and creating training and employment opportunities. We want to encourage people to get involved, deepen their knowledge of nature and learn new skills.”