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Galloway Coastal Rainforest

This will be one of the largest projects of its kind ever undertaken in the UK.  It will comprise more than 700,000 trees planted on an area equivalent to 2,000 football pitches!

This is an exceptional project for its biodiversity impacts and landscape conservation credentials.  The Galloway Coastal Rainforest Project is remarkable for its vast scale, location near several important nature reserves and proximity to the coast.  The whole project is located within the United Nations’ - Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere.  Parts of the estate lie also within the Galloway Hills Scenic Area and the Fleet Valley Scenic Area.

Overall, the project entails circa 180,000 tCO2e from permanent native forests and circa 34,000 tCO2e from commercial woodlands.

A substantial element of the project design is zones of riparian broadleaves.  These areas of diverse, native, deciduous trees will follow all the water courses coming off the high ground and will populate flood zones in the low ground.  This will reduce silting in burns and rivers.  It will also reduce ‘spatiness’ that causes exaggerated changes to river levels which fluctuate water temperatures and threaten trout and salmon spawning areas.  So doing will offer benefits to water quality, insect live, insectivorous bird life and small mammals.  This design will also mitigate the risk of increased flooding events arising from Climate Change.  An exciting aspect of design is the reintroduction of aspen that had been eradicated from Scotland.

 

An exceptional aspect of the project is that it will also include zones of mixed conifer (Scots pine and Norway spruce) and broadleaf (birch, hazel, rowan, etc).  Typically in forest design, the conifers and broadleaves are segregated in order to allow some tree cutting in future.  In this case, the conifers also enhance permanent planting zones.  The project design will include diffuse planting areas and open ground to create a mosaic ‘edge affect’ that will enhance biodiversity outputs.

 

The high ground will entail mixed conifer planting: Scots pine, Norway spruce and Sitka spruce.  Douglas fir will be planted on the lower, less exposed ground.  So doing will achieve the return of conifers, which were once the dominant species in Scotland, whilst delivering zones of rapid growth for enhanced carbon sequestration.

 

Project Context

Scotland’s coastal rainforests have received global recognition in recent years.  They are important for their array of rare lichens, fungi and plant species.  They also provide a vital migration corridor for woodland insectivorous bird species.  However, very little of this ancient habitat remains.  Where it does, there is an exciting opportunity to expand its footprint.

From a landscape aesthetic perspective, the new woodlands will provide organic lines to a landscape that currently has many, unnatural straight edges.  The vast quantity of new trees will help to join up a fragmented landscape, and to coalesce scattered woods into a vast forest.  This will offer exceptional benefits to flora and to the movement of woodland creatures.

 

The exciting element of the project is the creation of a vast area of native broadleaves on Castramont Hill, adjacent to Carstramon Wood Nature Reserve (Scottish Wildlife Trust).  The Nature Reserve itself includes a diverse array of tree species, including large oak trees.  It is home to red squirrels, pine martens, pied flycatchers, redstarts, four species of owls and wood warblers.  This area erupts with bluebells each spring.  In time, the flowers will spread into new woodland areas.

 

Project Features

  • One of the largest native afforestation projects undertaken in the UK

  • A diverse, coastal rainforest in the Galloway & S. Ayrshire Biosphere

  • In one of the best areas of the UK for established, ancient woodland

  • Immediately adjacent to the Carstramon Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust

  • Complementing nearby Glengap Forest and Laurieston Forest

  • Providing a conservation buffer to the Galloway Forest Park

  • Conservation buffer to the Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve

  • Next to one of the UK’s largest marine Special Protected Areas

  • Adjacent to a marine Site of Special Scientific Interest

  • Complementing the Crook of Buldoon Local Nature Reserve

  • A buffer to RSPB Wood of Cree and RSPB Ken Dee Marshes

  • Complementing the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

  • In one of the UK’s designated Dark Sky areas

Opportunities to invest in the project include

1.  Purchase of all or part of the project Pending Issuance Units

2.  Front-end investment to secure all or part of the project 

At a Glance: Galloway Coastal Forest

Location

  • On the coast of Galloway, SW Scotland

Offsetting Capacity

  • Three phases to be completed in 2023, 2024 and 2025

  • 170,000 tCO2e

Biodiversity

  • Reintroduction of rare aspen trees

  • Pied flycatchers, redstarts and warblers

  • Red deer, red squirrels, otters, pine martens and water voles

  • Golden eagles, peregrine falcons, red kites and 4 owl species

  • Red grouse, nightjars and woodpeckers

  • Migrating waterfowl and forest birds

Project Features

  • One of the UK's largest native afforestation projects

  • A coastal rainforest in the Galloway & S. Ayrshire Biosphere

  • In one of the best areas of the UK for ancient woodland

  • Adjacent to the Carstramon Wood SSSI, Scottish Wildlife Trust

  • Complementing nearby Glengap Forest and Laurieston Forest

  • Providing a conservation buffer to the Galloway Forest Park

  • Conservation buffer to Cairnsmore of Fleet Nature Reserve

  • Next to one of the largest UK marine Special Protected Areas

  • Adjacent to a marine Site of Special Scientific Interest

  • Complementing the Crook of Buldoon Local Nature Reserve

  • Complementing RSPB Wood of Cree and RSPB Ken Dee Marshes

  • Complementing the Solway Coast AONB

  • In one of the UK’s few designated Dark Sky areas

Project Status

  • Planting commencing in 2023

  • Validated in three sections, one per year: 2024, 2025 & 2026

Sustainable Development Goals

  • Climate Action

  • Life on Land

  • Life Below Water

  • Clean Water and Sanitation

  • Partnerships for the Goals​

Recognised Offsetting Framework

Woodland Carbon Code

Recognised Offset Standards

Pending Issuance Units becoming Woodland Carbon Units

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