Family fun at wildlife-rich ‘lost world’

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Trees for Life hosted a family fun day at Dundreggan – the conservation charity’s acclaimed rewilding estate in Glenmoriston – last month.

The day was packed full of activities. Highlights included performances from the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail, and by actors from Eden Court in Inverness. Children were able to discover all about Dundreggan’s wonderful wildlife, and to get their hands dirty by making clay red squirrels.

Visitors were also able to view the ancient and globally-important Caledonian Forest through Trees for Life’s new virtual reality film, which has been produced in collaboration with the Northern Film School.

Steve Micklewright, Trees for Life’s chief executive, said: ‘Dundreggan is the perfect place to come and discover the Caledonian Forest and all the stunning trees and wildlife that live there. We were delighted to be joined by Fèis Rois and Eden Court to provide a day full of fun activities and excellent performances for people living locally.’

Dundreggan is 10,000 acres of land being rewilding by Trees for Life. The charity protects fragments of the Caledonian Forest that have survived there after centuries of grazing, and is creating a new wild forest on land that has been without trees for centuries.

The estate is a biodiversity-rich ‘lost world’. More than 4,000 plant and animal species are found there, with discoveries including unusual species such as the strawberry spider and a midge that doesn’t bite. Several species had never been recorded in the UK before, or were feared extinct in Scotland.

People are encouraged to visit and explore Dundreggan, which is located off the A887 Invermoriston to Skye road, seven miles from Invermoriston. From the small car park, marked trails lead through a spectacular natural grove of juniper and into an attractive area of ancient semi-natural woodland – while for the more adventurous, an old pony track leads to wild open moorland.

Trees for Life is a conservation charity dedicated to rewilding the Scottish Highlands. So far its volunteers have established nearly two million native trees, and the charity is also successfully reintroducing red squirrels to suitable woodlands across the Highlands.

People can support Trees for Life by becoming members, volunteering, and by funding their own dedicated trees and groves. See www.treesforlife.org.uk.

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