Dunollie Completes Trust’s “Scottish Rainforest Five”
The Trust has taken over care of a prominent Oban Wood, completing a suite of Scottish Rainforest sites stretching from Argyll to Skye.
Dunollie Wood is an 80 acre ancient woodland occupying two small hills on the northern edge of Oban. The wood is visible from the land and the sea and will be familiar to anyone who has ever taken a ferry in or out of the town.
The Trust has been gifted the land on a peppercorn rent from Dunollie Estate for 99 years.
Dunollie fits into a chain of Woodland Trust Scotland sites up and down the West coast showcasing Scotland’s rainforests, lush native woods dependent on clean air and high rainfall. These are Uig Wood on Skye, Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in Lochaber, Ben Shieldaig in Torridon (which the Trust hopes to complete purchase on soon) and Crinan Wood in Argyll.
Dunollie is home to small areas of Atlantic oak wood, hazel wood and birch, which supports a spectacular range of plants, ferns, mosses, lichens and flowers. Birdlife in the area includes sea eagle, golden eagle, great spotted woodpecker and summer migrants may include cuckoo, redstart and tree pipit. Pine marten, red squirrel, brown hare, hedgehog, bats and the common toad are also in residence. Otter can be seen from time to time along the nearby sea shore.
Scotland’s rainforest is a unique habitat of ancient and native woodlands, open glades, boulders, crags, ravines and river gorges dappled by sunlight, dripping with moisture and garlanded with rare lichens, mosses, liverworts, fungi and other plants.
Scotland is the last stronghold of this globally important and rare habitat that once spread along the Atlantic coastline of Europe. But even here there is as little as 30,325 hectares left. These remnant oak, birch, ash, native pine and hazel woodlands are small, fragmented and isolated from each other.
There will be volunteering opportunities for local people to take part in woodland conservation and community engagement.
The management of Dunollie Wood will be overseen by the Trust’s Ross Watson.