Port of Menteith, Central
Auchyle Wood is situated on the highland boundary fault line, within the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. It is a rewilding site of two contrasting habitats in roughly equal proportions: ancient broadleaf woodland situated on a steep slope that rises dramatically above the Lake of Menteith; and a moorland plateau covered in a mosaic of heather, blaeberry, grasses and bracken. A burn fed by a waterfall flows across a small peaty plain, before disappearing into a gulley along the eastern boundary. While sheep have been absent from the site for some time, native woodland regeneration on the plateau is hampered by an abundant red deer population and the colonisation of the moorland by sitka spruce arriving from neighbouring plantations.
Key rewilding commitments:
- MORE NATIVE WOODLAND: Facilitate native woodland expansion, focusing on Scots pine, rowan and birch.
- MORE SPACE FOR WATER: Explore opportunities to slow the flow and keep areas of peatland wetter.
- JOINED UP HABITATS: Remove redundant fencing.
- LET NATURE LEAD: Remove non-native sitka from the moorland and rhododendron from the woodland.
- REINSTATE NATURAL GRAZING: Explore opportunities for introducing native cattle to the site.
- RUTURN MISSING SPECIES: Explore opportunities for returning missing mammals
"Nature is already recovering on Auchyle wood, but we recognise that there are some things we can do to help. Facilitating native woodland expansion is a priority. We know too that Black grouse are lekking nearby and we want to see them prosper. Our actions will be small in the scheme of things, but it all plays a part in building climate resilience and regenerating biodiversity."
Brian Wynne and Adelaide Shalhope