"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
― Nelson Henderson
Spring has come
Throughout March we spotted some brilliant signs of spring at Dundreggan.
Our aspen are in flower! Below are some photos of the flowering aspen. The smaller catkins are female, the others are male. If you look closely you can see pollen on the males.
Bottom left, a Rannoch brindled beauty moth, a rarity in the UK, only found in Scotland and quite rare here too. The female is flightless and sits about on fence posts (where trees are unavailable) and the males find her using her pheromone trail.
Middle right, is a male lichen running spider in the aspen tunnel. A UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species, listed as in decline. A very welcome find.
Last, but by no means least, a family of badgers. With their distinctive striped faces, the badger is an unmistakable animal in the forest, but as a nocturnal species, are rarely seen.
Thank you to everyone who came along to our webinars in March. Spaces were limited and booked up quickly, if you missed out you can now catch up on YouTube:
How to Grow a Forest The tree nursery at Dundreggan grows thousands of native trees every year. Find out how our small, dedicated team works with volunteers to collect local native tree seeds and grow them on to become the forests of the future. Watch 'How to Grow a Forest' here
Dundreggan: History of a Rewilding Adventure The Dundreggan Estate has been owned and managed by Trees for Life since 2008, but that's not where its story begins. Find out more about the fascinating history of the estate and its wildlife. Watch 'Dundreggan: History of a Rewilding Adventure' here
Thank you to everyone who contacted their MSP in support of the Scottish Rewilding Alliance. Because of you, 28 MSPs (with all-party support) signed the motion calling for Scotland to become the first rewilding nation. This is a great result to build on!
We have been overwhelmed by the interest in our Skills for Rewilding programme which will see five more trainees join Trees for Life on a year-long placement. Applications have now closed and we received over 200 applications. We look forward to introducing you to our new traineees in due course.
Join the Kilt Walk
You can help us to create a revitalised wild forest in the Scottish Highlands, and thanks to the generosity of Sir Tom Hunter, top-up your donation by 50% at the same time. Sign up for this year’s virtual kiltwalk to fundraise for rewilding.
With our partners at Scottish Environment LINK we welcome the Scottish Government response to the independent Deer Working Group report. 99 recommendations were laid out in this report, to learn more about this view the press release from LINK here.
World rewilding day
On the 20th we celebrated the first World Rewilding Day. This was a great chance to celebrate rewilding happening all over the world. We are already looking forward to next year for an even bigger celebration.
This month our Forest Champions are Michael Yellowlees and his dog Luna, who are walking across Canada to support rewilding! So far Michael has raised nearly £4,000 to support our work. Michael sent us a letter explaining his motivations that we would like to share.
Letter from Canada
I had the idea of this trip 2 years ago, to walk across Canada from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia. I was walking in the Torridon area when the thoughts of doing this expedition formulated. I knew about Trees for Life, and the work being done by the charity and, as I walked, I can remember the feeling of sadness that I was experiencing as I looked at the landscape, knowing and really feeling that it shouldn’t look as it looked...
So now I’m here [In Canada] - walking with Luna, my canine companion, a Canadian husky, and my guitar strapped to the rest of my gear. I started walking on March 1st... I’m enjoying the wilderness that is still abundant here in Canada, and also taking the time to encourage Canadians to look after what they’ve got here because there is no doubt that it is under threat and needs protection.
I know that there’s a long road ahead and I’m taking it one day at a time. In much the same way I hope this walk mirrors what needs to happen with our environment - its recovery is a long road too but if we keep going then we’ll get there.
You can follow Michael and Luna's story here, and if you wish to make a donation you can do so here.