David Hetherington
British Wildlife 29.6 August 2018

Conservation of mountain woodland in the Cairngorms National Park

Woodland expansion is a key target in the Cairngorms National Park, and a variety of partners are working together in an effort to increase tree cover within the park’s boundaries. David Hetherington discusses the woodlands of the Cairngorms and explains what they could look like, based on comparisons with the climatically-similar south west of Norway.

At over 4,528km2 and covering 6% of Scotland’s total land area, the Cairngorms is Britain’s largest national park, being twice the size of the next largest, the Lake District. Woodland cover in the park is broadly in line with the Scottish national average of 18%, and moorland is the dominant habitat type at around 40%. The woodland of the Cairngorms, however, is noteworthy for a number of reasons.

Through a naturalist’s eyes
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