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Trees and plants at Glen Finglas

The ancient oakwoods at Lendrick and Druim, with their canopy of leaves, contrast with the sprinkling of trees in the upper glens. However, over a million native trees have now been planted across the site: oak and birch on the lower slopes, and Scots pine, juniper, rowan and downy birch higher up, with alder and willow in the wetter areas.

Glen Finglas is one of the best sites in Scotland for ancient and veteran trees, including 300-year-old alder and hazel measuring 1.5 metres (five feet) in girth. Hundreds of veteran trees can be seen close to many of the trails. The veteran ‘lollipop’ trees scattered throughout the upper glens were traditionally pollarded, or cut a metre or so above ground level, so that the wood could be used for fencing, furniture, wood fuel and charcoal. Another curiosity is the ‘bird’ trees, particularly rowan, established when a tree seed becomes lodged in a crack in a host tree and a new tree grows out of an old one. There are also many layered trees, produced when an old tree falls over and its branches grow up to form one or more new trees.

Angel wings fungi (Photo: WRTML/Gwen Raes)

Common heather, bell heather, cross-leaved heather and blaeberry grow in the dry heath areas, while the wet heath areas have many types of sedge, including northern bog sedge and the rare tall bog sedge. Other ground flora includes gorse, fern, horsetail and wildflowers such as bluebell and primrose in the oakwoods, yellow pimpernel, yellow saxifrage, tormentil, fairy flax, ragged robin and the locally rare early marsh-orchid.

Glen Finglas is also of national importance for its range of fungi, which includes pinkgill, waxcap, angel’s wings and the first ever Scottish record of the white-rot fungus, coriolopsis gallica.