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22 Jun 2018

Scaling the heights for new species

Glencoe’s Three Sisters
At number 9 in our 100 Ways list, our brave botanists go to extreme lengths to protect Scotland’s flora.

To show the scale of the work we’re doing, we’ve identified 100 Ways we’re protecting Scotland’s heritage, including scaling the heights to find new species.  

Two of the Trust’s intrepid countryside experts have just received specialist training in rope access, so that they can reach never-before accessed areas and get a better understanding of the plant life that’s found there. 

Paul Thomson
Paul Thomson

Between them Dan Watson and Paul Thomson look after some of the Trust’s most mountainous and rugged terrain at Ben Lawers, Glencoe and Mar Lodge Estate. As climate change is causing alpine plants to move higher and higher up, the pair need to take extreme action to make sure they keep their botanical knowledge up to scratch. 

Dan Watson
Dan Watson

Dan explains:

‘The main target for this work is for botanical surveys of inaccessible areas. For example, we are planning to access crags and gullies in Coire nam Beitheach at Glencoe National Nature Reserve. I monitor a number of rare plants there, but I am certain that there is much to be discovered in even more remote locations. At the botanically rich Creag an Lochain at Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve there is also much inaccessible ground that we plan to explore. There are many other locations at both of these properties which we will look at in coming years, but requests are also starting to come in from elsewhere too.’

Scaling inaccessible mountain ledges is just another example of the work that the National Trust for Scotland’s volunteers and staff do day in, day out to protect Scotland’s natural and national treasures, for the love of Scotland.

This work is only possible with the support of people who value and want to protect our wild spaces and wildlife. Please join us by donating to our Protect our Natural Treasures appeal. 

The National Trust for Scotland works 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 2018–23, 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.

Protect our natural treasures

Help us protect Scotland’s wild places and creatures