Louis Vuitton, The European Nature Trust, Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust and The Banister Charitable Trust have recently committed match-funding to construct a community tree nursery in Ardgay, which is currently seeking planning permission. If successful, in the long-term, the nursery will help fuel the Kyle Riverwoods project with native riverbank tree species of local provenance, which can be difficult to source from large commercial tree nurseries. The tree nursery initiative would provide an opportunity for volunteers to engage with local nature restoration. Seed collection and nursery care would provide a focal point for environmental awareness, connecting people to the headwaters of the rivers upon which they live.
If planning permission is granted, a local nursery manager will be appointed who will be given the freedom to design the layout of the nursery from scratch. The proposed site is approximately 0.2ha and would be expected to produce at least 5,000 trees per year once established, with space for future expansion built into the plans.
The Ardgay community tree nursery will draw inspiration from other productive nurseries in Scotland, including the Trees for Life nursery and the Little Assynt nursery at Lochinver. There are not yet any major commercial nurseries in the North Highlands and the nearest small-scale facilities are Little Assynt (46 miles by road) and Dundreggan (67 miles by road). A nursery in Ardgay would dramatically reduce biosecurity risk by sourcing and growing trees locally. Due to Brexit, COVID-19, tree disease and the clamour for trees since COP26, supply of certain native species in the UK is expensive, and extremely limited with several key species such as aspen very rarely available. A local tree nursery will dramatically reduce the impact these issues have on mobilising tree planting projects, providing much-needed tree sapling stock.
If you would like to find out more please feel free to contact us or visit our office in the centre of Ardgay to say hello.
Our application for planning permission can be found at the following web page: