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Give Ben Shieldaig a bright future

Help us climb a mountain and buy Ben Shieldaig

We have been given the incredibly rare opportunity to purchase our very first mountain. Situated in a breathtaking coastal setting in the West Highlands, Ben Shieldaig is made up of almost 4,000 acres of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery.

It’s a hub of rare and unique wildlife: golden eagles soar, pine marten climb the trees, otters play by the shore and red squirrels nest in ancient pinewood. We also expect to find the likes of pipistrelle bats, smooth newts, woodpeckers and siskins at Ben Shieldaig when we carry out a full site survey.

Not only is Ben Shieldaig brimming with wildlife, but it is also home to a very special area of native woodland, and some of the world’s rarest lichens, bryophytes and liverworts.

There is a significant remnant of ancient Caledonian pinewood here, as well as an area classed as temperate rainforest. As the west coast of Scotland is home to some of the best examples of rainforest in the North East Atlantic, we cannot miss the chance to purchase a site with such an impressive repertoire.

Red squirrels can be found at Ben Shieldaig (Photo: iStock)

Ben Shieldaig needs help to survive as a vital wildlife habitat

Unfortunately, much of Scotland’s ancient and special woodland is unmanaged and beginning to degrade. The hills around Ben Shieldaig were once much more densely forested, however today only individual trees and fragments of scattered woodland remain.

The pine marten is another rare species found at Ben Shieldaig (Photo: iStock)

 

Human impact and high deer numbers continue to threaten the woods, and unless we can make the estate as resilient and healthy as possible, they will disappear – along with the wildlife that relies on them. 

We need your help to keep Scotland’s natural heritage alive

Ben Shieldaig is an entire ecosystem in one of the best known upland landscapes in the UK. Woodland creation schemes of this magnitude seldom become available, especially not at such an iconic location.

This is where you come in. We need to raise £5 million to fulfill our vision for the Ben Shieldaig estate in Torridon. Just buying the site will cost £1.6 million. The rest we’ll use over the next 20 years to begin the process of planting, protecting and regenerating this Site of Special Scientific Interest and let Ben Shieldaig and its wildlife thrive and flourish.

With your help we can:

  • Use our expertise to manage the woodland, combining careful woodland creation with natural regeneration and effective deer management
  • Fence areas of land to allow natural regeneration in the short-term, and in the long-term, once deer numbers are managed, remove fences from established woodland
  • Ensure new and existing fences have gates and stiles to allow visitor access, so our visitors can enjoy the stunning views from the summit across to Skye and the Outer Hebrides
  • Consult with the local community so we can take their ideas on board, and continue working with neighbouring landowners
  • Habitats will eventually link up, in turn creating new networks for wildlife and improving the resilience of the land.
The brightly coloured black darter dragonfly has been recorded at Ben Shieldaig (Photo: Richard Becker/WTML)

It’s a huge responsibility and achieving our vision is going to take at least 20 years – but it will be worth the wait. Please give what you can – every pound you give will make a difference.

Want to donate?

Whatever you choose to give, donating online is secure, quick and cost effective, so more money goes directly to helping Ben Shieldaig.

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