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The world is losing biodiversity at an alarming rate due to human activity. The United Kingdom has lost over 100 species during the last century. The rate of loss is  a cause for serious concern, requiring concerted action to prevent continued loss of biodiversity.

The destruction of our native forests, which at one time covered most of Scotland, has taken place over the last thousand years, and native woodland cover is now only about 1% of the total land surface. The SWA believes a new impetus is required to address this loss to our landscape and biodiversity. The Lairds Wood project was directly inspired by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) has outlined a strategy for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity, which was signed by the UK Government at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. It aims to agree national objectives for conserving species and the habitats they rely on, in part by promoting public awareness of the problem and inspiring them to act. A key part of the UKBAP was the preparation of Action Plans covering more than 40 priority habitats (HAPs) and over 400 priority species (SAPs). Five Scottish woodland HAPs (NW HAPs) were included.

But new trees are not enough. Conservation of the land which can sustain them is just as important. The SWA is committed to the development of Forest Habitat Networks, which link existing areas of native woodland as well as important open ground areas. These new woods which connect to older, more-established woodland, allow the plants and animals from each area to colonise new areas and extend their range.

The table below shows how the SWA is contributing to Scottish Forestry Strategy priorities:

Scottish Forestry Strategy:

The table below shows how the SWA is contributing to Scottish Forestry Strategy priorities:

Priorities for the Environment What the SWA is doing
Improve management of semi-natural woodland The existing woodland at Lairds Wood will continue to be managed to improve habitat quality
Extend native woodlands by developing Forest Habitat Networks New woodland will be planted to existing Lairds Wood with commercial plantations in Glen Spean
Increase diversity of the farmed landscape New woodland is being planted at Tulloch
Improve riparian (river bank) habitat Establishment of new areas of wet woodland
Improve the quality and setting of urban areas New urban woodland initiative planned for 2008/9 to improve the quality of the urban/industrial landscape in Central Scotland

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