So Friday was a big day for us at Lynbreck….
Whenever we bought the croft, we made the decision that any ‘intervention’ relating to the land would always be made with the best interests of the environment as a whole at the very core – this includes everything from what we plant, to what animals we graze and how our actions affect what already lives here. To some this may sound lovely, to others idealistic, and to many naïve but to us it is an area where we won’t compromise. No good for the environment, no go.
We feel a huge responsibility living here and having this massive space under our guardianship. We get one chance to do this right and so we need to make sure we do it all with our eyes and ears open. But it was clear from day one what our first project would be – planting trees.
Everyone knows that we haven’t got much native woodland left across the UK. Scotland is no different, and indeed the Cairngorms National Park, whilst in some areas isn’t doing too bad, could definitely do with some more. As we’re a croft, we’re lucky enough to have access to a superb service offered by the Woodland Trust. They provide free advice and support to crofters who want to plant trees on their land. Our local contact was Lead Project Officer Willie Beattie and he’s been a key player in getting us to this stage. We’ve also had some great input from the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB.
So on Friday we got the go ahead from our local Forestry Commission Woodland Officer (another great chap) that he was happy for us to submit our Woodland Creation application to fund the planting of 17,000 trees (ish…) on our western hillside. We plan to plant a native broadleaf mix (Birch, Oak, Rowan, Aspen, Hazel to name but a few) ourselves. All the planting spots for the trees will be chosen and prepared by us before we then plant them. We don’t know for sure when we will find out if we’ll get the funding but it’s going up the chain so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Think we’re mad? Many do, but many don’t. We think it’s so exciting. And really it’s just the beginning of our tree and woodland plans. Definitely more to follow on this one…..