Sunday, 15 January 2017

Roots of Arran Community Woodland

A dark, louring sky heavy with cloud hid the great mountains at the heart of the island. Rain flecked the outside of my waterproofs but inside I was both cosy, and excited to be exploring a very special place. South of Brodick on the bonny island of Arran is a woodland new in the growing. Formed in 2002, the Roots of Arran Community Woodland is converting an area of clear felled commercial forestry back to wild, native woodland. The area, known as the Fairy Glen or Lag a Bheith, now contains oodles of fine young  beech, hazel, willow, oak, alder, blackthorn and even some fruit trees in a specially enclosed orchard area.  There is also a great grove of good-sized beech where you can also find funky art pieces and signs of the woodland-friendly community. A few old oaks are covered in thick moss and lots of that distinctive fern. The fern is a native called the Resurrection fern and is an epiphyte that lives on the branches and trunks of trees, especially live oaks. The rain made the colours even richer and the droplets on the tips of the Scot's pine needles glistened like beads of silver. And then I found the fruits, bright as Christmas decorations, treasure indeed! Check out recent news and go visit the magical Roots of Arran Community Woodland!