Woodland at the Allt Lorgy has been given some TLC by local volunteers

Penny Lawson - October 3, 2019

Around seven years ago, steps were taken to establish flood plain and riparian woodland at the Allt Lorgy, a tributary of the River Dulnain, as a critical part of what has become one of SCI’s best known and celebrated river restoration projects. The meadows next to the river had been consistently browsed by deer and livestock for many years, so there was no regeneration of young trees and only scattered mature trees remaining. Encouraging healthy new tree growth was important to bring many benefits, including more and better wildlife habitat both in the river and on the banks, contributing to natural flood management by slowing the flow of flood waters, providing shading to keep the water cool, stabilising the banks, and providing a future source of woody structures in the channel.

The whole site was deer fenced and native broadleaf trees planted, with valuable support from the Woodland Trust . Huge improvements have now taken place, with both the planted trees and especially naturally regenerating trees now doing well. Some alders have reached over 2m in height. The vole guards and tubes used to protect tree seedlings are no longer needed, so SCI recruited the help of volunteers from nearby Grantown Grammar School, a group of Volunteer Cairngorms rangers and members of the public to remove the tree protection. They also pulled up non-native conifers which had seeded in from a plantation upstream. Thanks to this hard working and enthusiastic bunch, the trees are now set to carry on growing into a diverse and healthy native woodland.