A new mixed woodland contains elements of productive & diverse conifer, native broadleaves & upland birch in the foothills of the Ochil Hills. The project is located west of Gleneagles village, east of the Trossachs National Park and between the cities of Dunblane and Perth.
Given the significant element of rapid growing conifers, we would characterise the project as a Climate Forest. The Harperstone project comprises two planting sections. The new planting areas combined comprise 149 hectares with a carbon capacity of 22,758 tCO2e (15,041 tCO2e offsets in time for Net Zero 2050).
This project complements two earlier planting schemes on the Estate. The first of these, Blackford Forest (38,162 tCO2e), has already been sold. The second scheme: Blackford Farms Compartments (5,230 tCO2e) has been part-sold.
Design & Management
Long-term management will look to achieve the owner’s objectives of growing high quality commercial conifers for timber production, increasing the area of broadleaf woodlands, provide habitat for local wildlife and sequester atmospheric carbon.
Commercial timber will be the focus of the conifer elements and these will be managed on a no-thin and clearfell basis. Clearfelling will take place at approximately 40 - 45 years old for Sitka spruce, 50 for Norway spruce and 70 for Scots pine. Maximising quality timber will ensure that a higher proportion of the timber removed at clearfell will be used in long-term construction projects.
Felled areas will be restocked as soon as possible post-harvesting, thus achieving continuous cover. The native broadleaves and upland birch areas will be managed on a non-intervention basis for landscape, biodiversity and long-term site carbon storage. All sites will be managed by Blackford Farm’s forestry managers who designed the project and will see the long-term management objectives through.
The majority of the once vast Caledonian Forest, that existed in the Highlands for millennia, was coniferous. Native conifers play an important role in carbon sequestration as their growth rate is greater than deciduous trees. Of course, these pine habitats would have been home to Red squirrels, Pine martens, Scottish wildcats and the Eurasian lynx. Pine trees serve as nesting platforms for raptors such as osprey, Golden eagles, Sea eagles and goshawks.
Sustainable Development Goals
Of course, the project achieves SDGs for Life on Land, Life Under Water, Climate Impact and Partnership for the Goals. However, it achieves SDGs above and beyond these impacts. An important aspect of the project is the enhancement of water quality.
The estate is undertaking planting of native broadleaves along burns in order to enhance water quality for the community drinking source in Blackford and in support of community economic development. Two important businesses draw water from the community source including Highland Spring and the Tullibardine Scotch distillery.
The Estate also supplies hydroelectric power to the local school for free, and it permits school visits to the estate for purposes of environmental and historical learning. So doing, it achieves SDGs for Sustainable, Affordable Clean Energy and Education. Public access is available across the estate achieving Good Health & Wellbeing for locals and visitors alike.
At a Glance: Harperstone Forest
Between Sterling and Perth, Scotland
East of the Trossachs National Park
Near to Glen Eagles
Estimated: 22,758 tCO2e
Sustainable Development Goals
Clean Water & Sanitation
Affordable Clean Energy
Good Health & Wellbeing
Life on Land
Life Below Water
Partnerships for the Goals
Recognised Offsetting Framework
Woodland Carbon Code
Recognised Offset Standards
Pending Issuance Units (PIUs) becoming Woodland Carbon Units (WCUs)