Atlantic Woodland Alliance – Saving Scotland’s Rainforests
Woodland Trust has brokered an alliance between some of Scotland’s largest nature conservation organisations in a bid to save the country’s dwindling rainforests.
Members of the Atlantic Woodland Alliance gathered at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on Monday May 20 for the launch of a report outlining the current condition of these rare woodlands. The partners will now work to implement a strategy to save and expand them.
The Alliance is made up of Butterfly Conservation Scotland, the Community Woodlands Association, Forestry and Land Scotland, Future Woodlands Scotland, John Muir Trust, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, the National Trust for Scotland, Plantlife Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Forestry, Scottish Land and Estates, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Trees for Life and the Woodland Trust Scotland. More partners are sought.
The Alliance was driven forward by Woodland Trust’s Adam Harrison and is the culmination of work on our West Coast Treescape.
The new report reveals that there is as little as 30,325 hectares of rainforest left in Scotland. The remnant oak, birch, ash, native pine and hazel woodlands are small, fragmented and isolated from each other. They are over mature and often show little or no regeneration. They are in danger of being lost forever.
- Almost all of the rainforest is over grazed to a degree that will prevent it from re-growing.
- Invasive rhododendron can be found in 40% of rainforest sites where it threatens to choke the woodlands and prevent the distinctive rainforest flora from surviving.
- One in every five sites have been planted up with exotic conifer plantations which lower their value as rainforest habitat.
- Ash dieback threatens the future of our northern and western most ash woods.
- Climate change and air pollution are set to decimate the last refuge for the rare plants that make the rainforest so special to us and the rest of the world.