The National Park encompasses around 720 sq miles (1,865 sq km) of some of the best scenery in Scotland. The Countryside Trust will be working with our partners to deliver landscape scale projects which enhance and protect the stunning vistas and habitats which have had such an important role in Scotland’s history.
The National Park has some stunning mountains and moorlands on which farmed livestock and wild deer are managed to maintain and restore upland habitats.
There is a strong focus currently in Scotland towards restoring peat and bog habitats, ensuring that they retain water by modifying drainage ditches, bringing benefits for flood prevention and also for species such as heather, cotton grass and sphagnum. There will be opportunities for the Countryside Trust to support landscape scale bog restoration projects within the National Park.
Native woodland extends from the high altitude montane scrub at the natural tree-line through upland birch and oak woods, right down to wet woodlands and Atlantic oakwoods at sea level. Native woodlands form habitat networks, enabling free movement of woodland species – potentially important in adaptation to a changing climate. We have remnants of native Scots pine woods in Strathfillan and Glen Falloch which we will be working to ensure are better connected through woodland expansion projects. Conifer plantations also form a key part of the woodland habitat network supporting black grouse and red squirrel.
One of the most ambitious woodland projects within the National Park is the Great Trossachs Forest which aims to create a forest landscape large enough to include a range of habitats and a diversity of wildlife. The project will create 4,400 hectares (44km2) of native woodland and 16,650 hectares (166km2) of forest and open ground, with a mix of habitats, returning ecosystems which have been damaged by over-grazing and human exploitation to its more natural state. Almost 900 hectares will be planted with native trees, and ultimately over 3,000 hectares of new tree cover will be created. The Great Trossachs Forest represents a partnership between RSPB Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, The Woodland Trust and BP through the Scottish Forest Alliance.
DID YOU KNOW? The Great Trossachs Forest will cover an area equal in size to Glasgow.
The National Park also contains many freshwater ecosystems including lochs, rivers and ponds. Throughout the National Park these resources are used for generating renewable energy from fast-flowing watercourses.
Agriculture remains the key land use in the glen floors and other lowland parts of the National Park, and the characteristic features of historic designed landscapes are also important. The Countryside Trust will be working with our partners to help safeguard these landscapes for future generations.
The National Park is also home to some of the most diverse sea lochs in Scotland, Loch Long, Loch Goil and Holy Loch, provide fantastic opportunities for people to enjoy seashore and marine wildlife. The Scottish Government is currently seeking views on the designation of the Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil as a possible Marine Protected Area (MPA).