The Scottish Wildlife Trust is working to expand native woodland at Loch Ardinning Wildlife Reserve near Strathblane. Around 12,000 trees will be planted on the reserve this spring to create new areas of upland oak and wet woodland covering a total of 16 hectares.
The £120,000 project is supported by the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund, run by NatureScot, and the reforestation charity One Tree Planted.
Native wildflower seeds including dog violet, slender St John’s wort and wood sage are being sown within existing woodland. These plants will establish themselves and naturally spread throughout the wildlife reserve.
The Trust is also felling a plantation of non-native larch trees. The felled trees will be left to create important deadwood habitat.
Reserves Manager Billy Gray said: “This is an exciting project that will bring more life to Loch Ardinning Wildlife Reserve.
“Establishing new native woodland is a really important way to help tackle biodiversity loss. At the time as planting thousands of saplings we’re introducing native wildflowers and creating the deadwood habitat that forms the foundation of a forest ecosystem. A wide range of species will benefit including willow warblers, song thrushes and the small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly.
“This work will also help contribute to tackling climate change. Planting trees soaks up carbon and linking up small areas of native woodland can help wildlife to be more resilient to changing conditions.”
A group of local volunteers will support the project through tree planting, maintaining fences and other activities.