Native Woodlands

Woodland regeneration at Rhenigidale, Harris

Woodland regeneration at
Rhenigidale, Harris

Native woodlands within the Western Isles are an extremely valuable natural resource, providing important habitat diversity for flora and fauna. At present native woodland is restricted to areas out with the reach of grazing animals such as sheep, cattle and Deer. Therefore trees such as Rowan and Aspen are found clinging to rock faces and steep coastal slopes that are out of reach to these species. It has now been recognised that the protection of native tree species for habitat diversity and genetic safe guarding is a high priority within the Western Isles. This has led to the production of a Native Woodland Habitat Action Plan (HAP), under the heading of the Western Isles Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) which is available in PDF format through the link below:

Native Woodland Habitat Action Plan (654.8kB)

The Comhairle in partnership with FCS, SNH and trees for Life have produced a Native Woodland Booklet to help provide guidance on native woodland restoration in the Western Isles. To access a PDF copy, click on the link below

Native Woodland Booklet (1.4MB)

The Western Isles Woodland Strategy and the Native Woodland Habitat Action Plan (HAP), both identify the survey of existing native woodland as one of the priorities for action.

A survey was undertaken by the Comhairle’s Woodland Project Officer during 2007 with grant funding from Scottish Natural Heritage. The purpose of the survey was to provide baseline information for future actions and to identify key areas for protection and expansion. A desk based exercise led to a list of 50 sites being prioritised for more detailed survey. From the detailed survey results core areas of native woodland cover have been highlighted. Fourteen key sites within these core areas are described in detail in the survey report along with recommendations for regeneration and enhancement. The recommendations contained in the survey report will support delivery of the Western Isles Woodland Strategy and the Native Woodland HAP.

Native Woodland Report (2.3MB)