The long term vision for Attadale Estate’s woodlands is to provide a positive ecological contribution through integrated land management. By enabling the woodland ecosystems to thrive, and thereby recreating an environment that echoes the ancient woodlands that previously covered the glens and hillsides around Attadale.
The conversion of the non-native conifer woodlands to native woodland will greatly enhance and expand the nationally important Caledonian pinewoods and the ancient semi-natural woodlands across the estate.
The felling areas are currently stocked with a mix of Lodgepole pine, Sitka spruce and larch. Across Scotland Lodgepole pine is suffering from a disease called Dothistroma Needle Blight (DNB). This causes defoliation which can continue year on year and gradually weaken the tree, significantly reducing timber yields. It can also eventually lead to death of the tree. Current guidance from the Forestry Commission advises the prompt removal of highly susceptible species such as Lodgepole pine in order to reduce inoculum levels of the pathogen.
https://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/images/corporate/pdf/dothistroma-needle-blight-action-plan-scotland-2017.pdf . This is in an attempt to prevent infection to the adjacent Caledonian pinewood zones.
The felled areas will be replanted in 2021 with a mix of native Scots pine, birch, hazel, aspen and willows to reflect better the ground conditions and the surrounding environment. The inclusion of open ground responding to natural edges, watercourses and flushes will allow the new native woodland to appear more fitting to the landscape.
It is proposed to enclose both areas within one perimeter fence; this will enable the site to be managed as one unit creating a more naturalised woodland. The nationally designated Caledonian Pinewood situated along the Allt a’Ghiubhais burn will be protected within this fence encouraging natural regeneration of the pinewood.
With regard to the existing native woodlands across the estate, the estate policy is to expand and link the fragmented old growth forest to provide greater structural diversity and promote further growth phases to ensure continued woodland cover.
The felling will take place between March and September of 2018 and 2019.
Whilst the operational works are ongoing the estate will need to divert the public footpaths, to protect users and machine operators.
PLEASE ENSURE YOU FOLLOW ALL DIVERSION SIGNS AND ADHERE TO SITE SAFETY NOTICES.
The core path map highlights the diversion routes and the time periods they will be in place.
Any queries please contact Louise Alexander on 01463 224343.