Deforestation has become a global problem that requires an immediate call to action. Clearing of Scottish woodlands for millennia can be seen in recent times as only a tiny fraction of native Scottish forest cover remains. The history of clearance in the Highlands is long and complex but let’s have a glimpse of what the earth has lost.
History Of Scotland’s Woodlands
Around 11,000 years ago, the glaciers of the last ice era were in retreat. The woodland cover reached Shetland and the Western Isles around 5,000 years ago. Many tree species like Scots pine, birch, oak, willow, alder, holly, and rowan, along with different birds and animals, were abundant in Woodland.
As the climate got hotter, it had given the colossal rivers of ice the way to treeless tundra and then to poor Woodland. Human activities were impacted too when early farmers arrived on the land. They grazed livestock and burned pinewoods to encourage fresh growth for their stock. And Woodland further went into further retreat.
Besides early agriculture being a major cause of woodland cover decline, Roman legions of Agricola invaded Scotland, which also resulted in the diminishing of half of the natural Woodland. Many of the remaining woods were destroyed for timber, tanbark, and charcoal in the 17th to 18th century.
By 1900, the natural Woodland of Scotland that used to be covered in the forest had only 5% forest of its land area. A great loss of native species, including larger mammals and predators, occurred. In current times, native Woodland covers only 4% of the total land area.
Reasons Of Destructions of Scotland’s Ancient Woods & Trees
- The arrival of farming and livestock grazing.
- Climate shifts and changes over time.
- Need for timber, fuel, and to make way for agriculture.
- Increasing demands of wars and industry.
- Growing Highland population.
- Large-scale sheep farming and ecological disaster for Highland people.
Role Of Forestry Commission
Created by the government in 1919, the Forestry Commission played an important role in the rise of forestry. It was introduced to not repeat the same situation that happened when the first world war Britain almost ran out of timber. The commission is set to work over the next 40 years in Scotland to create a supply of home timber.
How Can You Protect Scotland’s Woodland?
Scottish communities need to make native woodlands resilient to the threat they face in the future. Established Titles, an e-commerce business, focuses on preserving and protecting the woodland areas in Scotland. The clients in the Established Titles Legit are enjoying their personal Lordship or Ladyship titles offered by it. Save the land while having fun!
Consequences Of Not Protecting the Woodland
If you don’t take part in the protection of Scotland’s ancient woods and trees, the following will be the consequences
- Loss of wildlife diversity.
- Risks of storms, disease, and fire.
- Fragmentation (a fragmented woodland with patches) – vulnerable to inbreeding and natural disturbance.
- Change in the structure and fertility of the soil.
- Loss of higher concentrations of nutrients from the land.
- Waterlogged ground.