UK's largest and newest National Nature Reserve to include 200-year woodland restoration project

The newly-approved Great Trossachs Forest NNR will mark "one of the most significant woodland regeneration projects to take place in the UK for a generation", its backers say.

Image: Jim McDougall
Image: Jim McDougall
Running from the north of Loch Lomond to Callander and lying entirely within the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, the 16,500-hectare reserve area is owned and managed separately by the Forestry Commission Scotland, the Woodland Trust Scotland and RSPB Scotland.

Last week plans for the reserve were approved by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). Its chairman Ian Ross said: "It will be Scotland's largest reserve, with a variety of wildlife, habitats, and landforms, including some of national or international importance such as ancient woodland, wet woodland and upland wood pasture.

"However, as well as being such an ecologically important site, The Great Trossachs Forest NNR clearly displays the key features associated with a NNR – it is nationally important, well managed and is inspiring and accessible to the public, offering a host of attractions for visitors to experience, savour, and enjoy."

With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the area is being restored to a naturalistic mosaic of open hill ground and woodland, aimed at helping species in decline such as black grouse, as well as creating a greater diversity of wildlife and plants in future.

The Great Trossachs Forest project manager Sue Morris said: "This accolade reflects the hard work that the partner organisations have put in to creating a major new forest that successfully balances the needs of wildlife with opportunities for recreation and tourism in the area.

"We have a 200-year vision to create new woodland and other natural habitats on a landscape scale, ensuring that future generations can enjoy the outstanding natural heritage that the Trossachs have to offer."

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