2009 - 2012
The biggest rewilding project to date at Alladale took place between 2009 and 2012: planting 920,000 saplings. At a rate of 1,000 trees per day, vast areas of the reserve were reforested with Alder, Aspen, Rowan, Willow, Birch, but predominantly with Scots Pine.
To protect the saplings, around 35 kilometer of deer fence has been put up. Effectively, these areas are now exclusion zones for Red Deer, Sika Deer, and Roe Deer. The fences are meant to last for 25 years in challenging Highland weather conditions; long enough for the saplings to grow tall and able to withstand damage done by foraging animals.
Around Alladale Lodge, deep into Glen Alladale, and in various sections in Glen Mor, the mosaic of planted tree species is hoped to grow over the next centuries. Connecting to Alladale’s neighboring estates Glen Calvie, Croick, and Amat to the the east, and Stratvaich to the west, a formidable stretch of Highlands can be turned into a corridor of forests and open areas, allowing for many animal and plant species to establish themselves again, right on the doorstep of many small local communities.
Now, ten years onward after the first trees were planted, we are seeing positive results in establishment and growth rates. Maintenance is needed in some areas, as expected, with new saplings being planted throughout 2019.
We will launch an alumni planting scheme in 2020 for our guests, allowing them to help us leave a legacy for future generations to enjoy.