Before and After: 25 Years of Restoration at Glen Finglas
PR & communications officer - Scotland
The Woodland Trust is celebrating 25 years managing Glen Finglas Estate in The Trossachs. Once a heavily grazed sheep farm, the landscape is now diverse and thriving. As the nation gets the woodland creation bug ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, Glen Finglas offers a glimpse of what the future may hold for land whose revival journey is only just getting underway.
Credit: Niall Benvie / WTML
Woodland Trust Scotland’s new director Alastair Seaman said:
“Ideas such as rewilding and reforesting have a high profile today. People increasingly see the urgency to create more woodland to counter the climate and biodiversity crises. Glen Finglas has had a 25-year head start. What you see here now is what much of the country might look like in future, as more and more land is revived. I am thinking of places such as Langholm where the community has taken ownership, the Clyde Climate Forest being created in Glasgow and its surrounding council areas, and hundreds of schemes on crofts, farms and estates across the country."
The Glen Finglas Estate was a hill farm that had been heavily grazed by sheep for generations when the Woodland Trust acquired it in 1996 with help from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Covering more than 4,800ha of mountain and moorland, it is the largest of the Trust's sites across the UK.
Over a million native trees have been planted and some 1,800ha of new native woodland created. Over 100ha of peatland has been restored. The estate now welcomes more people and is home to more wildlife. The Trust maintains its own herds of cattle and sheep to manage open areas including woodland pasture.
Car parks, waymarked trails and a visitor gateway building have all improved opportunities for the public to access and enjoy the site, which is part of The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve.
Alastair Seaman said:
“Our future plans are for more of the same: increased woodland cover, more peatland restoration, and extended path networks. Glen Finglas will continue to be a haven for people and wildlife as well as locking up carbon in its woods and peat bogs; to help in the fight against climate change.”
Due to uncertainty over Covid restrictions, silver anniversary celebrations are being split between online elements in 2021 and on the ground events in 2022.
Check out the dedicated webpage for more information on what has been achieved over the last quarter century, including a short video.
#25YearsGlenFinglas is the twitter hashtag for online celebrations.
Together with neighbouring land owned by RSPB, and Forest and Land Scotland, Glen Finglas Estate makes up The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve, which is as big as Glasgow.
Glen Finglas has nine waymarked paths totalling 59km and connects with The Great Trossachs Path between Inversnaid and Callander. Paths range from a family-friendly play trail to more challenging routes high up in the glen.
Many of Glen Finglas’ ancient trees have ‘flying’ or ‘cuckoo’ rowans growing out of crevices: one tree growing on another.
Wildlife at the site includes black grouse, beaver, golden eagle, pine marten, otter and red squirrel plus rare "badger-faced" red deer - a local strain with light coloured coats, hooves and face markings.
Notes to editors
For further information contact George Anderson on 07770 700631.
Woodland Trust Scotland is part of the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. The Woodland Trust has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.
The Trust has three key aims:
- protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable
- restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life
- plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.
Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 29,000 hectares. In 1984, the Trust acquired its first wood in Scotland. Today it owns and cares for some 60 sites covering more than 8,000 hectares across Scotland. Access to its woods is free.