Native Planting

Monday, July 10, 2017

The beginning of Gameshope

Work begins on our latest project.

The team has started preparation for planting on the slopes of Gameshope, this project sets out to plant 80,000 trees up the valley. This site has provided some challenges like accurately setting out compartments on a steep incline and transporting personel and materials across a fast flowing body of water. Whilst posing some difficulties, the project has required us to learn and identify particular species like the Cuckoo Flower or the Orange Tipped Butterfly in order to protect and preserve their habitat whilst planting. We are all very positive about this site and look forward to the start of planting in the autumn.

Posted by James on 10/07 at 04:27 PM
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Tuesday, January 03, 2017


A new project for a new year.

We have brought in 2017 with a new project: planting woodland just outside of Broughton on the slopes above Helmend. This has included a visit to the Nursery and helping an eager Duke of Edinburgh student complete her volunteering work by providing materials and space for her to complete her own project.



Posted by James on 03/01 at 12:01 PM
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The acorn gatherers

 Wonderful day out in the depths of Galloway's ancient oak woodland!

Recently we have been assisting with growing acorns that have fallen from sessile oaks found in the Glen Trool forest park. This is part of a larger effort to grow around 600 000 trees to help restore ancient woodland within Galloway. For more information, read the BBC article on the project here.


Posted by James on 14/09 at 10:41 AM
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Saturday, April 04, 2015

Milestone number of trees planted

Talla Bank, the day we planted past the 100,000 mark

It has been a challenging planting season so far and the team have endured some horrendous weather conditions along the way. The first trees went in the ground at Talla Bank on the 5th November and yesterday we planted our way past the 100,000 mark- a huge thanks to all the team.


Posted by James on 04/04 at 01:37 PM
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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Talla tunes

Live lunchtime music session

Somewhere up on the hill in the mist there where a group of tree planters listening to live music- wonder when or for that matter if there has ever been someone playing an instrument on the high slopes above Talla before?

Posted by James on 30/11 at 10:43 PM
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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Talla Bank

Our next planting project

Since the start of August we have be working on our next planting project. The site is on the hill above Talla reservoir and the task- plant 160000 native trees, a bit of a challange and not for the faint hearted. The slopes are about as extreme as you can get for this sort of work, the views on your way to the top make the walk from the lower slopes worth it.


Posted by James on 07/10 at 08:51 PM
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Friday, February 07, 2014

Work in Progress

Native planting used to screen new development.

Our latest planting project is a great opportunity to establish some pockets of native woodland with all the benifits that that brings and at the same time be utilised to screen a new farm development.

We have however intermixed a few Norway Spruce into this planting scheme to act as a nurse to help the main body of the planting establish. The Norway Spruce can then be removed once the other trees are large enough, this will allow more room for the remaining trees and create some 'natural' clearings.


This planting season has so far been a lot easier than last year; At this time last year we were having to make a daily expedition in the Argo to Lochanburn (Corehead). This year however so far we have been working on lower ground where we have the luxury of being able to park the vehicles right next to the planting areas. A recent trip to Lochanburn has revealed that the Bothy did not survive the gales before Christmas, the winds at that altitude on exposed ground must have been well in excess of 100 mph. A rebuild seems like a good excuse for a weekends camping in native woodland during the warmer weather!

Posted by James on 07/02 at 04:18 PM
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

226800 native trees

Last tree planted

Three years, three Compartments, today the 29th May 2013 we planted the last tree in Lochan Burn. This was the last of 226800 trees planted over the past three years at Corehead. It's been a challenging winter, there have been some interesting moments and some testing weather conditions but always lots of laughs along the way.

Huge thanks to all the team for their endeavours and commitment. We can be proud of what we have achieved together and of the lasting mark that we have left on the hills above Moffat.

The last tree planted was an Oak, the only one to be found in upper Pot Burn.  Although we have planted this above the normal altitude for Oak, we felt that this was appropriate as we are trying to push the boundaries of successful native planting. For future reference the coordinates of the last tree are NT 10446 13127.

Posted by James on 29/05 at 07:43 PM
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Sunday, April 14, 2013


Avalanche now to be added to our Planting Risk Assessment.

This picture was taken a minute after the team experienced its first avalanche whilst planting. After weeks of not being able to access Lochan Burn, we finally managed to get things underway again. The severe weather at this altitude left a noticable build up of snow on the crag face above us on Hartfell Shoulder, so what happened on the 12th April, 3rd day back, was always a remote possibility. Whilst the slipping snow did not descend far enough to reach the planting line, it loosened rocks that bounced their way down the slope and they did reach the edge stakes!


Posted by James on 14/04 at 09:46 PM
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Life above the snow line

Its another world

In Moffat today the weather was good, sunshine, no snow lining the streets and even slightly mild. What lies ahead though to get to Lochan Burn is becoming unusually normal....

An hour spent clearing drifts as we cross the snow line on Cock law...

A last look back to Moffat and the green landscape surrounding it.

 Looking forward and down into Lochanburn, the bothy some 430ft below.

We got there in the end to find that the flake gate to the compartment gateway was blocked by 3ft snow drifts, the surrounding valley floor covered in about a foot of snow that has been blown of Hartfell. (The Quad had to recovered from a drift on top of the marsh that has to be crossed to get to the gate, the Argo stuck on the hillside above).

We got to work today but had to turn back, somebody forgot to bring the Coffee!

Posted by James on 11/02 at 11:04 PM
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Just another day at the office

It could be worse!

Posted by James on 11/02 at 10:57 PM
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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Volunteer revisits planting

Juniper planted in November 2010

Ed, from Somerset, revisits the Juniper he planted on the first Volunteer planting day at Tweedhope , Corehead in November 2010.

Posted by James on 06/02 at 04:40 PM
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Flying over Lochan Burn

A unique view of where we are working, photography by Liz Hanson

Aerial imagery gives a good logistical overview of a project of this scale.

Images like this give the idea of a blank canvas when it comes to designing woodland; there are no existing trees and no boundaries other than altitude, water courses and rock formations.

We use physical features on the ground to form the structure of the woodland we are planting. The species of tree that we plant is determined by factors such as soil type, altitude, drainage etc. These factors are normally reflected in the existing vegetation cover and generally we use this as a guide as to what species to plant at any given spot or more generally the woodland type that will cover an area.

In some cases there are a wide variety of ground types and therefore resulting woodland types in any given area. It is conceivable to take a photograph of that area and draw/annotate on the boundaries between ground types simply by the identifying the vegetation present. From this an image of where the differing woodland types are to be planted can be produced, in some ways this would be like painting by numbers.

Posted by James on 21/01 at 02:43 PM
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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Alder with altitude

Planting the highest Alder in the country.

Alder at the Lochan Burn, Corehead, Moffat Hills, Scotland

"High Altitude New Native Woodland in the Southern Uplands. The highest naturally occurring Alder Alnus glutinosa in the country is found in the Highlands at c.547m a.s.l. The planting of alder at Lochan Burn will match this and offer the exciting prospect of some of the highest altitude alder woodland in the country. The planting is somewhat experimental as nobody is certain about the limits of this type of forest under natural conditions. Taken together with some of the highest altitude sessile oak Quercus petraea and Ash Fraxinus excelsior and the establishment of montane scrub at even higher altitudes, Treesurv are providing the vital practical backbone to this new and exciting attempt at native forest restoration in the Southern Uplands."

Stuart Adair, Habitat Ecologist and Environmental Consultant, Jan 2013.


Posted by James on 09/01 at 09:47 PM
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Friday, January 04, 2013

What is a Cleuch?

Cleuch Planting

We have just completed a Cleuch native planting project and when talking to people about this work it occured that some people might not know what a Cleuch is.

This is the scots word for a gorge, ravine, cliff or crag. Cleuch's can be very interesting places to find yourself, rich in flora and fauna you can come across some really intesting sights. Trees somehow grow out of rock faces where there roots are above there crown and recently we even came across some wild goats wondering around.

This film shows a Cleuch that we have recently restocked with native tree species in order to help the Black Grouse population re-establish itself.


Posted by James on 04/01 at 12:46 PM
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