Case Study

Broadmeadows,
Scottish Borders

 

 

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Broadmeadows, a hill sheep farm, in the Yarrow Valley has planted its existing low-grade grazing and hill ground with a multi-purpose woodland, combining commercial forestry, diverse conifer and native broadleaves. Still an active farm, the owner wished to look at a modern and diverse mix of land uses to optimise commercial and environmental opportunities.

Objective

The landowner wanted to create a significant woodland planting scheme, sympathetic to its surrounding landscape and contributing significantly to Scotland’s climate change objectives. It was important to the client that the project didn’t focus solely on commercial Sitka spruce but still provided sufficient future revenue from timber and carbon. The opportunity to develop access routes for community members of all ages and abilities, promoting responsible access to the countryside was also a key factor.

Fast Facts

Client: Alec Telfer

Project developer: Forest Direct Ltd

Previous land use: Agricultural grazing land

Area: Gross area 265ha Net area: 243ha Open ground: 22ha

Species Mix:
Sitka Spruce 54%,
Douglas Fir 6%,
Norway Spruce 6%,
Scots Pine 8%,
Native Broadleaves 10%
Low-density Native Broadleaves 8%
Open Ground 8%

Trees planted: 576,000

Woodland Management:
Clearfell (Sitka and Norway Spruce)
Thinning (Douglas Fir & Scots Pine),
Minimum intervention of Broadleaves

Estimated net carbon Sequestration (tCO2): 72,257

Start date: November 2018

End date: April 2019

Approach

The commercial forestry element utilised lower-lying, lower-grade agricultural land to provide high-quality, home-grown timber. This added to the natural timber resource for Scotland’s growing demands, assisted Scotland’s transition towards a Green Economy and provided a long-term investment for the owner.

The woodland mixture included over 80ha of Scots Pine, Birch and Aspen which replicated the Caledonian Forest habitat. Approximately 60% of the new woodland will be managed as Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) providing a long-term uneven aged forest structure with low impact silvicultural practices.

Over 25% of the site was designed for long-term habitat retention; to achieve this, we planted native broadleaved trees and designed open ground in the scheme to deliver against the woodland framework.

The woodland design was led by soil conditions, topography and the existing biodiversity to sympathetically The woodland design was led by soil conditions, topography and the existing biodiversity to sympathetically create a woodland with multiple benefits. These include protecting and increasing existing fauna and flora habitats, expanding the riparian habitat, which will safeguard watercourses, reduce stormwater flows and provide shade habitat. The scheme also creates extensive recreational routes for walking, horse riding and mountain biking, providing a visually attractive forest and creating employment in the local economy.

The scale of the forest will play a significant role in removing Greenhouse Gases from the atmosphere. Nearly 650,000 trees in the new woodland will contribute to the battle against Climate Change by sequestering over 68,000 tonnes of carbon over the next 50 years.