Talla & Gameshope

Our newest site, the Talla & Gameshope estate, is located on the western edge of the Scottish Borders. At 1,832 hectares, Talla & Gameshope is larger than all of our other sites put together.

Talla & Gameshope

A rare opportunity to restore this former woodland

At a glance

Scottish Borders

4,527 acres

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Talla & Gameshope

Date purchased

In late 2013, following a successful fundraising campaign, the Trust took ownership of 4,527 acres (1,832ha) at Talla & Gameshope. The site is particularly special because it offers a rare opportunity to restore a large area of hills and upland valleys to their natural state providing habitats extensive enough to be more sustainable, in contrast to isolated areas of conservation found elsewhere. At its southern end the property borders both the Trust’s Carrifran Wildwood and the National Trust for Scotland’s extensive Grey Mare’s Tail Estate.

For centuries, Talla & Gameshope was an upland sheep farm.  The impact of this land management style on fragile upland habitats is plain to be seen.  Native woodlands once thrived along the valley bottoms but, over hundreds of years, these woods were cleared by humans, and steady livestock grazing then ensured the trees could not regenerate naturally.  Likewise, the higher slopes would have been rich in montane scrub, with heathlands of heather and blueberry.

Talla & Gameshope is currently at the survey and planning stage but BFT will gradually and sympathetically restore habitats, including native woodlands that have been lost over many hundreds of years. We are confident that over time these valleys and hillsides will once again support vibrant, self-reliant habitats.  The reality of being able, for the first time in centuries, to walk all day long in Southern Scotland through wild natural land, will make the hard work now more than worth it.

Mini Update – August 2020

We are now looking at phase 2 planting to expand new woodland planting to around 300ha including montane scrub and leave other ground open and regenerating such as blanket bogs and montane heaths. As the woodland establishes is should regenerate naturally and woodland should expand naturally itself.