The Woodland Trust is celebrating 25 years managing Glen Finglas Estate in The Trossachs. Once a heavily grazed sheep farm, the landscape is now diverse and thriving. As the nation gets the woodland creation bug ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, Glen Finglas offers a glimpse of what the future may hold for land whose revival journey is only just getting underway.
Woodland Trust Scotland’s new director Alastair Seaman said: “Ideas such as rewilding and reforesting have a high profile today. People increasingly see the urgency to create more woodland to counter the climate and biodiversity crises. Glen Finglas has had a 25-year head start. What you see here now is what much of the country might look like in future, as more and more land is revived. I am thinking of places such as Langholm where the community has taken ownership, the Clyde Climate Forest being created in Glasgow and its surrounding council areas, and hundreds of schemes on crofts, farms and estates across the country."
The Glen Finglas Estate was a hill farm that had been heavily grazed by sheep for generations when the Woodland Trust acquired it in 1996 with help from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Covering more than 4,800ha of mountain and moorland, it is the largest of the Trust's sites across the UK.
Over a million native trees have been planted and some 1,800ha of new native woodland created. Over 100ha of peatland has been restored. The estate now welcomes more people and is home to more wildlife. The Trust maintains its own herds of cattle and sheep to manage open areas including woodland pasture.
Car parks, waymarked trails and a visitor gateway building have all improved opportunities for the public to access and enjoy the site, which is part of The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve.