Birch

Birch (Silver Birch, Betula pubescens and Downy Birch, Betula pendula: Beith in Gaelic) Birch, even more than Scots Pine, seems to evoke Scotland. It is an important visual element of so many Highland and Lowland landscapes. If you immediately think ‘Silver Birch’ you are only partly right. Scotland boasts at least three distinct species, probably four if you include the …

What is the point of moths?

Woodland Engagement Officer Michelle Stamp, shares more about why she loves moths and how you can get involved in observing moths. There are approximately 2,500 species of moths in the UK of which 900 are macro-moths and the rest fitting in to the arbitrary category of micro-moths.  I say arbitrary because many micro-moths are larger than macros and the distinction …

The Darwin Tree of Life Project

At the start of the millennium, while the first seedlings were being planted at Carrifran Wildwood, another dream was reaching its fulfilment. After years of ground-breaking research, the Human Genome Project provided us with the Homo sapiens genome, the complete DNA code for the human species. Two decades on and these seemingly disparate threads are entwining. The Borders Forest Trust …

Wild Cherries

Wild Cherries: Gean and Bird Cherry (Prunus avium and Prunus padus, Fhioghag in Gaelic) Scotland has two wild cherries, neither of them very well recognised. They are both reasonably common in the Borders, especially in new plantings, although ancient populations of bird cherry hang on in remote cleuchs (deep gullies) showing that it is a true native. The evidence for …

Seeing the Wood in the Trees

An interactive talk on Zoom with Maggy Stead and trustees of the Tim Stead Trust Pencilled in for 9th September 2021 – More information and booking instructions to be announced soon. The Tim Stead Trust is delighted to contribute to the BFT 25th Anniversary events by sharing the exciting progress it has made in recent times.  Following an extraordinary burst of enthusiastic …

Help our pollinator friends

Would you like to help Borders Forest Trust support other charities with their brilliant projects to help our Pollinator friends? Step 1: Don’t Mow Your Lawn again until June (I’ve explained why below). Step 2: Tell other people about ‘No Mow May’ – maybe even make some posters to spread the word. Step 3: Sign up to Plantlife’s ‘Every Flower …

Elm

Of the three main varieties (and many more crosses) of elm in the British Isles only the wych elm (Ulmus glabra) is native to Scotland. Unlike its English cousins, it grows from seed rather than by cloning. This makes it genetically more diverse, which gives it a degree more resistance to Dutch elm disease. This scourge is till taking out …

Corehead Community Consultation

After more than a decade of managing the land at Corehead and the Devil’s Beef Tub, Borders Forest Trust, are now looking forward to the next 10 years – and beyond – by thinking about the next phase of our ongoing project to help nature flourish across this part of the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland again. As part of …

Burying Beetles like to recycle too

Burying beetles are probably not everyone’s cup of tea but if you are now intrigued then do read on. Burying beetles comprise a whole family of beetles called the Silphidae, many of them associated with carrion which means they are important decomposers and recyclers.  They are known as the undertakers of the animal world and without them we would be up …

Oak

Oak (Quercus robor and Q. petrea; Dair or Darroch in Gaelic) Oaks are possibly the best known and most readily identified Scottish tree. Their long leaves with sinuously curved lobes are like no others and their cupped acorns or hard round ‘oak apples’ (galls caused by an insect) often become playthings for young children. The true native of Scotland is …