Cores are at the very heart of things. In an apple, a core has seeds within it for new growth and expansion. The Core Forest Sites project is a bit like that. By nurturing some of the finest native broadleaved woodlands in the UK, it aims to play a big part in future expansion of native woodlands in Scotland.
Caring for this kind of Core matters, because healthy native forests are good for both people and wildlife. Many plants and creatures rely on native trees for their survival. People can benefit – through work and pleasure – when old woods get a new boost. Biodiversity, rural economy, opportunities for learning and healthy living: those are part of why Core Forest Sites matter.
The woods in the Core Forest Sites project are widespread. A dozen areas (and more than twice that number of woods) across Scotland, from Galloway to the Highlands, are playing their part. All of these contribute to a European-Union-wide network called Natura 2000.
Support from near and far
In the 12 sites, many woodland owners have been working to care for their core places through a major Core Sites partnership, managed by Highland Birchwoods. This partnership has national and international backing.
Much of the funding has come from the European Union’s LIFE financial instrument. In addition to Highland Birchwoods, there are eight Scottish partners. These are Scottish Natural Heritage, Forest Enterprise, Forestry Commission Scotland, Central Scotland Countryside Trust, Scottish Water, Forest Research and South Lanarkshire Council.
Plans into practise
Hands-on action to help native trees is central to the project. This includes work to reduce threats from overgrazing and the spread of exotic trees, shrubs and bracken. Plans agreed with woodland owners will sustain the work in the long term, beyond the initial project in 2002-2005 and grants have assisted immediate action.
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Help yourself to a refreshing and beautiful desktop picture, from Core Forest Sites. Download>>