Last year we focused on maintaining the fences that allow the trees to grow by excluding the sheep and deer (an on going task!). This year, we were planting Juniper within the deer exclosure as part of our project to restore Montane scrub habitat. The aim is to transition from woodland to montane scrub to montane heath, spreading woodland up the hill, enhancing biodiversity and softening the boundary between large trees of the low grounds and open hill.
We were planting just below Whitehope Knowe at around 550 to 600m, conditions at this height are tough for trees, however some species such a Dwarf Birch, Juniper, and a variety of Montane Willows should do well here.
To give them a bit of a head start, we worked in pairs with one person using a mattock to remove vegetation and the other planting the Juniper into the prepared spot. Screefing the ground in this way reduces competition from grass roots whilst the tree is establishing.
|Good luck Juniper!
It was a great spot to camp for the night, with stunning views of Lochan burn and a sunset over the hills to the west. Not too icy in the morning this year either!
Walking back down through Tweedhope it was heartening to see how well the trees have established, as the spring flush of fresh young leaves shone a vibrant green in the sunshine.
They'll be more information about Montane scrub in the summer edition of the Green Shed, members magazine ...so look out for that.
Many thanks for James and John of Treeserv for helping to lead the camp, and to all the volunteers who got involved.
Site and Community Officer