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NTS are leaders in the conservation of wild plants in Scotland, currently carrying out some of the most innovative projects in the country, often in partnership and with the support of other bodies, such as Scottish Natural Heritage and The Millenium Forest for Scotland.

At Ben Lawers, between 1987 and 2000, large areas of crag and mountainside were fenced off from the hungry mouths of sheep and red deer in order to see if rare plant communities, and especially the mountain willows, would recover back to their former glory. The results can easily be seen as walkers hike through one of these exclosures on their way up to the peaks at Ben Lawers. These areas are now thick with young trees, thick willows and carpets of wild flowers!

At Grey Mare’s Tail, a similar, smaller scale project has also been ongoing on the crags of White Coomb. Whilst only ongoing for 3 years, the initial results are heartening, with rare mountain willows and flowers, such as Alpine Saw-wort and Alpine Foxtail, recovering in many areas. Another project at this property is focussing on the reintroduction of the rare Oblong Woodsia fern, in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

In the Cairngorms National Park, Mar Lodge Estate are involved in the Cairngorms Rare Plant project aimed at conserving rare pinewood plants. We are looking to establish a new site for twinflowers using material from other twinflower patches.

Detailed monitoring has also been ongoing to determine the success of work to restore native plants to Brodick’s woodland where previously covered in Rhododendron ponticum. Early results are also encouraging whilst enterprising staff at Ben Lomond have found a great use for cut ‘rhodies’: they make great charcoal for fires and BBQs!