Carrifran valley (image by David Geddes)

News & Events

Accolade for Carrifran Wildwood

Carrifran from Bodesbeck, 23 May 2017 by James Barton

At the Royal Highland Show at the end of June 2017Carrifran Wildwood was named as joint winner of the New Native Woods category in the 2017 Scotland's Finest Woods Awards. Angela Douglas, who organises the selection process, commented that “We have joint winners in the New Native Woods Award due to the extremely high calibre of both Carrifran Wildwood in the Moffat Hills and Mar Lodge Estate Pinewoods at Braemar in the Cairngorms National Park. Very hard work has taken place over many years to achieve the results now visible.”

Both winners received a prize of 1000, while the trophy, sponsored by the Woodland Trust, will pass between them part way through the year. Reciprocal visits to the two sites by key members of the teams are being arranged.

Woodland trust trophy and fish - photo by Rosalind Grant-Robertson

The Award was presented by Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, to Dr John Savory, Carrifran Wildwood volunteer and biological recorder (who led the application process), Dr Philip Ashmole, Co-ordinator of the Carrifran Wildwood project and Trustee of Borders Forest Trust and and Dr Jane Rosegrant, Director of the Trust. A few days later about 35 of the many people who have worked so hard on the Carrifran Wildwood project over the course of two decades came to a celebratory party at Kidston Mill.

Borders Forest Trust purchases Talla & Gameshope

In 2013 BFT secured possession of 1,832 hectares (4,527 acres) of the Talla and Gameshope estate, in the heart of the Scottish Borders. This new site is larger than all of our existing sites put together, and our first major site within the Borders. With the support of the previous owner, who was committed to seeing the land pass into conservation management, BFT is now the steward of the wild heart of the Southern Uplands.

The area purchased includes the stunning valley of the Gameshope burn. The site is particularly special because it offers a rare opportunity to restore a large area of hills and valleys to their natural state providing habitats extensive enough to be truly sustainable in contrast to isolated areas of conservation found elsewhere. At its southern end the property borders both the Carrifran Wildwood, which also belongs to Borders Forest Trust, and the National Trust for Scotland's Grey Mare's Tail.

BFT will gradually and sympathetically work to restore this important site by encouraging the return of habitats that have been lost over many hundreds of years.In the time since the purchase large areas have been planted with Forestry Commission grant aid and the help of planting contractors, and volunteers have also planted many thousands of trees, many of them on land at over 600m a.s.l.

The purchase took place to a tight deadline and BFT is very grateful to the generous individuals and Trusts who made success possible. A first important step now will be to carry out biological surveys on the land so that future changes can be mapped.

Carrifran Wildwood Story front cover

The Carrifran Wildwood Story, by Myrtle & Philip Ashmole with members of the Wildwood Group, was published by Borders Forest Trust in September 2009 and is now available to purchase for 10 plus p&p. All the money received goes to support the project. To find out more about the book, download a preview and print off the order form please visit the The Carrifran Wildwood Story page or order online through the Borders Forest Trust website.