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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Filmmaker backs appeal to save historic bothy

This news post is almost 9 years old

​Tress for Life launch appeal to save remote bothy

He’s better known as an intrepid filmmaker who travels the world filming wildlife in its natural habit.

Now Gordon Buchanan is returning to his native Scotland to back a bid by Trees for Life to transform an iconic but derelict mountain bothy into an eco-friendly base that will be used to launch a quarter century of forest restoration in one of Scotland’s great wildlife wildernesses.

Glasgow-based Buchanan – well known from television programmes such as Big Cat Diary and Springwatch – is supporting the conservation charity’s appeal to raise £30,000 to renovate Athnamulloch Bothy in Glen Affric on the Forestry Commission Scotland-managed National Forest Estate.

The initiative to restore Athnamulloch Bothy is key to the next stage of large-scale forest restoration work being delivered in partnership by Trees for Life and Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), in which volunteers will plant 250,000 trees to extend Glen Affric’s endangered forests further west, creating vital forest corridors and habitats for unique wildlife.

“For me, time spent in Glen Affric’s ancient forest is precious,” said Buchanan.

“Watching eagles soaring against the mountain peaks, red squirrels in the branches and glimpsing pine martens hunting amongst the heather is as wild and remote an experience as Britain can offer. How lucky we are to have this unique and wonderful landscape.”

Detailed plans have now been drawn up to renovate the building to a high ecological standard while retaining its rustic character and the charity has signed a 25-year lease for the building with FCS.

Buchanan added: “The problem is that this forest is tiny and these ancient pines are just a fragment of the forest that once filled the glen. Further west, the grasslands are silent and empty and the only signs of the former forest that once grew there are tree roots scattered in the peat.”

Generous donations and grants have contributed towards much of the total £137,000 cost.

And in a major boost, the appeal has just secured a grant of £20,000 from the Moray-based Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation, which supports worthy projects and charitable organisations, particularly in the north of Scotland and the Highlands and Islands.

The charity is also looking for public donations with the names of those donating at least £250 to the fund listed on a celebratory plaque at the bothy.



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