See all stories
4 Jun 2018

Reforesting Glen Rosa

Transcript

Kate Sampson

Well, I think Arran is just really a special place. For a start it’s an island, so you have the journey of coming over to the island and that sets you off on a journey that makes it special, and once you get here it’s a bit like Scotland in miniature. We have it all – from seashore to mountaintop, and also Brodick Castle and the beautiful gardens. People can get to experience this amazing Highland landscape just two hours from Glasgow. I really like to be out in the wilds and experience the wildlife that’s out here, and have that sense of vulnerability when you’re out. Myself and the ranger team here, we do quite a lot of different activities to get people involved. Some of the things involve week-long working camps where we actually get people on to the paths and repairing paths, or in the glen here we’ve had all sorts of groups come and help us with planting trees, from primary school kids from North Ayrshire through to asylum seekers from Glasgow – just experiencing this landscape and helping put back into the conservation of this area.

So the ranger service on Arran, we’re doing quite a lot of different conservation projects. Some of the projects involve removing rhododendron from our native woodland, and that will help with the red squirrels, because we’re bringing back woodland into a good state for squirrels, but another one of our projects is out here in Glen Rosa. We’ve got a big project where we’re trying to restore some of the habitats that have been degraded through overgrazing in the past and we’re going to actually do a huge fence right across the glen and put back woodland into the glen, and one of the reasons for this is Arran actually has some special trees that are only found on Arran, the Arran whitebeams, and we’re going to give them a chance to have a home back into the glen.

It will help some of the iconic species such as golden eagle because we will be diversifying the flora and fauna within the glen and that will increase their prey items and hopefully keep them successful for the future.

As a ranger, every day can be pretty different. Sometimes we are fixing the trails and waymarkers. Other times we will be taking groups out and taking them up the mountains to experience the wildlife. It can be very, very varied. By working for the National Trust for Scotland I have the opportunity of working in this landscape but more it’s about involving people in it, getting them to experience the land, the wildness of it, and experience close at hand some of the wildlife and just have those amazing moments where they feel connected to Scotland, to the landscape and to the wildlife that we have here, and on Arran it’s special because we have some of the best wildlife ever and it’s really quite accessible. So you can see Scotland’s big five – you can see golden eagle, you can see red deer, seals, red squirrel. So the important thing is is actually getting people out into this wildness and experiencing the landscape, and having a close experience of the wildlife that’s here too.

Number 2 in the 100 Ways We’re Protecting Scotland’s Heritage list is a project to replant native woodland in Glen Rosa, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The National Trust for Scotland is working every day to protect Scotland’s national and natural treasures. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, we protect all of this For the Love of Scotland.

In Our Strategy for Protecting Scotland’s Heritage 2018 – 2023, we set out how we’re planning to work towards our vision that Scotland’s heritage is valued by everyone and protected now, and for future generations.

To show the scale of the work we’re doing, we’ve identified 100 Ways we’re protecting Scotland’s heritage - including a project to replant native woodland at Glen Rosa.

With more than 76,000 hectares of countryside in our care, our charity plays an important role in protecting important habitats all over Scotland. 

On Arran, we not only protect Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park but also Goat Fell and Glen Rosa.

Quote
“We have it all – from seashore to mountaintop, and also Brodick Castle and the beautiful gardens. People can experience this amazing Highland landscape just two hours from Glasgow.”
Kate Sampson
Head Ranger for the Trust on Arran

One of Kate’s big projects for 2018 is to plant native woodland in the area. Trees were once abundant in the area, but overgrazing has seen them disappear from the glen. 

Kate says:   

‘We’re trying to restore some of the habitats that have been degraded through overgrazing in the past and we’re going to actually put a huge fence right across the glen and put back woodland. One of the reasons for this is the island actually has some special trees that are only found on Arran, the Arran whitebeams, and we’re going to give them a chance to have a home back in the glen.’

This important project will not only bring these trees back to the glen for the first time in decades but will also improve the biodiversity of the area which is good news for the insects and birds. The project is being supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery

Rainbow over Glenrosa water in Glen Rosa
Rainbow over Glenrosa water in Glen Rosa

Kate and the team have lots on their summer 2018 to-do list with tackling invasive species, especially removing Rhododendron ponticum which crowds out native plants, and also improving the condition of woodland around the estate so that it provides a good habitat for red squirrels. 

There are no grey squirrels on Arran, so it’s an important stronghold for the reds which are under threat in other parts of Scotland. And it’s not just the red squirrels that make Arran so important for natural heritage – there’s much more to see. As a Trust ranger, Kate feels it’s her job to share that with visitors: 

‘You can see Scotland’s big five – you can see golden eagle, you can see red deer, seals, otters and red squirrels. So the important thing is actually getting people out into this wilderness and experiencing the landscape, and having a close experience of the wildlife that’s here too.’

100 ways

in which we’re loving and protecting Scotland, for you.

More