Pentland Hills Phase II The North East Slopes

Pentland Hills Phase II The North East Slopes

LFGNP were awarded CSGN Development Funding in 2011, to focus on one of the Pentland Hills Core Areas, the North East slopes.

Following on from Pentland Hills phase 1, LFGNP were awarded CSGN Development Funding in 2011, to focus on one of the Pentland Hills Core Areas, the North East slopes.

The North-East Slopes Landscape Management Plan

The North East Slopes Landscape Management Plan, was developed during phase 2. The Plan set out a brief description of the North East Slopes, and provided information on the strategic context for woodland management and expansion.  A summary analysis of the major issues was detailed, and constraints and opportunities identified.

The plan identifies a series of advantages in taking a co-operative and ’landscape unit’ approach to woodland management and expansion on the North East Slopes. Among the identified advantages are the establishment of a more visually and integrated landscape, and significant economies of scale.

Woodland Management and Expansion Plans

Individual Woodland Management and Expansion Plans were developed for the four main land-holdings within the North-East Slopes.  The four land-holdings, from west to east, are:-

  • Bonaly Country Park – largely owned by the City of Edinburgh Council
  • Dreghorn – owned by the Ministry of Defence
  • Swanston Farm – owned by Private Individual
  • Hillend Country Park – owned by Midlothian Council

The individual Management Plans for the four land-holdings within the North-East Slopes together identified 37 existing woodlands that would benefit from woodland management, covering a total area of 90 ha. 23 potential woodland expansion sites were also identified, covering a further 133 ha of land. Proposals for woodland management include small-scale woodland removal, restructuring through felling, thinning and replanting, and for a gradual transition from the woods being predominately coniferous to being largely broadleaved.

Collaboration

Both the woodland expansion and management opportunities were costed in detail and the proposals assessed against the likely grants currently available through the Forestry Commission Scotland and the Scottish Rural Development Programme. A collaborative approach was taken between delivery bodies and land owners to raise and apply for funding for woodland/habitat creation and management.

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