Taking things at tree speed…
Alongside many folk, like it or not, we at SCI are having to put a few plans on hold for a while until the Coronavirus crisis is under control. This includes much of our current and planned project work focussed on creating riparian woodland at a number of locations in the catchment where trees are scarce.
Battling with some very harsh conditions and flooding over the winter, we have now completed stock fencing almost 2km of the River Truim on the Cuaich Flats near Dalwhinnie. Low density planting with native trees and shrubs was just about to begin – squeezed into the window between the snow melting and the bird breeding season - when lockdown descended. Likewise our hopes for a decision on major funding for riparian woodland as part of landscape scale catchment improvements on the River Calder may not be fulfilled for a while longer.
SCI is surely not alone in experiencing these frustrations, but on reflection (and many of us now have more time for that!) the delays we face are insignificant on the timescale of woodland establishment. Trees take a long time to grow, particularly in weather-beaten, exposed sites like these, and it will be a good number of years before the benefits they promise for the catchment will come to fruition. We just need to sit tight for now and try to think in tree time! Watch this space for good news on these projects when life returns to something like normal.