Loch Vaa, Cairngorms, Scotland


Extensive area of Scots pine woodland, a fine example of shelterwood management

Site visit: August 2014

This pinewood is situated close to Loch Vaa, near the villages of Aviemore and Boat of Garten, Inverness-shire, Scotland. This stand is in the heart of Strathspey, where there are extensive areas of natural and planted pinewood, including the forests of Glenmore, Rothiemurchus, Abernethy and others. The pictures here demonstrate the silvicultural possibilities for managing Scots pine on an irregular shelterwood system, with profuse natural regeneration occurring in response to large canopy gap creation, mineral soil exposure for seed germination and the maintenance of good seed trees. Several interventions have taken place at intervals over 10-20 years leading to areas of more or less advanced regeneration, giving the forest a more natural appearance and diverse structure. In wet areas and hollows a range of other species are present, including birch, alder and associated understorey plants. Standing deadwood and coarse woody debris have been maintained for biodiversity conservation and habitat. Photos: Agfa RSX 100 slide film, scanned, edited.  

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