Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, Scotland
The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park (QEFP) in central Scotland includes lochs, forests, moorlands and mountains and is part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. It is a state-owned forest, managed by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS).
About the demo
The park was originally planted as an even-aged, predominantly Sitka spruce forest with timber production as the main objective, but is now managed for a much wider range of objectives, including timber production, recreation, tourism and conservation, as well as protective services such as reducing soil loss and flooding.
As well as being the SUPERB Scottish Demo, the forest has featured as an Adaptation Demonstration Forest for the Scottish Government “ClimateXChange” project and is the Forest Research – Scottish Research Forest in partnership with FLS.
with additional monitoring areas within the park’s 20.000 ha
Type of restoration:
The SUPERB Scotland Demo is focused on three major restoration activities:
• High elevation planting to expand the forest above the current treeline with native broadleaf and montane species to enhance biodiversity and reduce soil loss from erosion and landslides.
• Development of a Natural Flood Management demonstration area, where conifer species are removed from riparian zones, and native broadleaf species are planted and established. Various measures to slow peak steam flow will further reduce risk of flooding to downstream communities.
• Expansion of continuous cover forestry to encourage improved species and structural diversity in forest conifer stands that were originally planted as clearfell – replant systems. This will encourage diversity, improve resilience against a range of climate change risks, and enhance benefits for forest visitors.
How the demo is now:
Increasing species and structural diversity has been an important adaptation management objective for the forest for many years, and even-age Sitka spruce has already been reduced from 65% to 50% of the forest area. Riparian zones are being cleared of conifers that are being replaced with appropriate native species.
Major restoration goals are now to increase the area of broadleaf woodland in the forest, to increase the use of continuous cover forestry systems, to expand forest above the existing tree line using native species, to restore riparian woodland, and to demonstrate natural flood management techniques. These are expected to improve resilience to climate risks, reduce flooding in neighboring communities, reduce soil loss, improve water quality, increase biodiversity and encourage use of the forest by visitors. Restoration within the SUPERB project will be focused using stakeholder workshops and monitored to ensure it meets a wide range of forest management objectives and provides enhanced ecosystem services for stakeholders and local communities. As part of SUPERB, the Scotland Demo forest demonstrates stakeholder focussed restoration, diversification and climate change adaptation with the aim of scaling up to the wider landscape.
Restoration upscaling potential (within and beyond SUPERB):
Scotland’s forest and woodland area now covers more than 1.4 million hectares (ha), one third of which is the public owned National Forest Estate.
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Updates from our demo Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
During a trip to Scotland in September, our colleagues from Wageningen Research made a field visit to the restoration sites in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park (QEFP) guided by demo leader…