What we hope to learn
Simon will be instrumental in analysing all the data collected, so we can really understand what it is telling us. He feels excited, as we do, to be on the brink of a resurvey of the pinewood sites 47 years after they were first surveyed. Native Caledonian pinewoods are a priority habitat, a unique jewel in the crown of Scotland’s natural heritage and of international importance. This makes the resurvey so important and the results so fascinating to anticipate. It’s such a long interval that full cycles of planted conifers may have come and gone. There may also be signs of climate change in the soils and vegetation.
Simon believes well-documented management will undoubtedly help unpick the evidence for causes of change for many sites. Working with dedicated land-managers gives us a really strong chance of telling a detailed story about how these precious forests have changed, but also producing clear evidence about what works and doesn’t when restoring and maintaining pinewoods. The results from the resurvey should be useful to site managers, conservation biologists and the wider public.
Protecting their future
Due to their age, ancient woods may seem constant and unmoving, yet they are vulnerable to destruction and ever changing. The more we know about the way they work and the biological changes taking place within them, the better we can nurture and protect them for the future.
In collaboration with Professor Bunce, CEH, Trees for Life and many dedicated pinewood managers and enthusiasts across Scotland, we hope to repeat this valuable survey and use the findings to help safeguard the future of Scotland’s Caledonian pinewoods.