Caledonian Pinewood Forest

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 31st October 2018.

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Photo of Gail Ross Gail Ross Scottish National Party

I thank Keith Brown for that important sticky catchfly intervention.

The CPR project seeks to provide landowners with support and guidance so that they can successfully apply for funding from the forestry grant scheme for help with things like deer fencing, removing invasive non-native species and planting a range of tree species associated with Caledonian pinewoods.

I am happy to say that we have just had some great news. I congratulate Trees For Life on winning a vote for a major European funding award. The charity’s pioneering reds return project has just been awarded more than £25,000 from the European Outdoor Conservation Association funding stream.

I thank everyone who voted for the reds. The money will fund a project to reintroduce red squirrels to four carefully chosen woods in the north-west Highlands. That will significantly expand the species’ numbers and range, with the new populations able to flourish, safe from the threats that greys present.

The project will also help the natural expansion of Scotland’s native woodlands, because red squirrels plant new trees when they forget where they buried their winter stores of nuts and seeds.

On behalf of the red squirrels, I thank Trees For Life and everyone else who is involved in saving this iconic species.