Killing trees for conservation

cairngormwanderer

ringed trees near Derry Lodge, Cairngorms Some of the ringed trees visible from the track near Derry Lodge. Photo by John Watson

A few folk have been curious about the ring-barking of trees in the forestry plantation just east of Derry Lodge.

I did ask one of the estate ecologists if he fancied writing a guest post to explain it but haven’t heard back, so you’ll have to settle here for a layman’s account, based on a chat with one of the rangers.

The ringing of the trees – removal of the bark in a strip right round the trunk of the tree – does, as you might have guessed, kill the tree, and has been carried out quite extensively in this plantation.

This is done to thin out the densely packed plantation and create more natural-looking woodland, and to create dead wood as a resource for insects and birds.

Map showing location of ringed trees near Derry Lodge in Cairngorms The plantation where the ringed trees…

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A Seven Day Service

Views from the Sharp End

It was a fairly typical Sunday afternoon in 2011. The emergency department was experiencing its usual surge of ambulance arrivals: every cubicle in ‘majors’ was occupied and a queue of patients on trolleys was slowing growing in the corridor. The nurse in charge seemed as calm as ever: I asked what I could best do to help. ‘Have a look at the queue – see if there are any you can get home’, she suggested – more in hope than expectation.

‘My husband is dying…’

John was second in the queue and didn’t look like he was going home, but judging by his reduced conscious level, he appeared to need urgent attention. I asked a passing nurse if there was any space in resus – ‘all full’, she replied as she sped to the assistance of another patient. John’s wife was reading to him – she put down the prayer…

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