New sites join National Tree Collections of Scotland

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20 APRIL 2012NEWS RELEASE No: 15426

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Three new sites across Scotland have signed up to participate in The National Tree Collections of Scotland (NTCS) - the partnership project led by Forestry Commission Scotland and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

The new sites - Dundee’s Camperdown Park, Ardkinglas Woodland Garden in Argyll and the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel, Perthshire – will join Scone Palace, Kilmun Arboretum, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and others in a network that promotes best practice in collections management. 

These NTCS sites bring together for the first time the very best of Scotland’s specimen tree collections in a bid to raise public awareness of, and access to, these collections. The project also aims to help protect this unique aspect of Scotland’s national heritage for the benefit of future generations.

Mike Metcalfe, General Manager at the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel, said:

“The grounds here in Dunkeld suffered very badly in the gales of early December last year, we lost many big trees including several in the iconic ‘Cathedral Grove’ adjacent to Dunkeld Cathedral. 

"We’re extremely grateful to NTCS for the support they’ve shown us so far in helping to coordinate efforts to bring that area back to its former glory.  We’re also very fortunate that through NTCS and our ongoing participation in the iCONic project we’ve been able to plant a number of new specimen trees in the grounds here this spring, helping to mitigate some of the recent losses”.

The trees being planted in the grounds at Dunkeld have been sourced from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) and the iCONic project, a Perthshire based initiative to help save some of the world’s most threatened and remarkable conifer species from extinction.

Conservation of threatened species is a key objective of NTCS, and by linking in with conservation initiatives like the RBGE’s International Conifer Conservation Programme, NTCS hopes to maximise the usefulness of Scottish tree collections to international conservation efforts.  The young plants destined for Dunkeld, which are of known origin and sourced from the RBGE, will have high conservation value as well as helping to continue the legacy of tree planting and maintaining an historic designed landscape.

Tom Christian, project officer for the National Tree Collections of Scotland said:

“Its very exciting to be welcoming these new sites into NTCS, and to be working with them, helping to plan and plant for the future.

“We’re working with Camperdown Park to design and implement a tree trail, which will give visitors the opportunity to learn more about the remarkable trees in the park.  In the near future we intend to commission a landscape management plan for Ardkinglas Woodland Garden.  This is an extraordinary site and home to Britain’s tallest tree, and Europe’s tallest known conifer, a mammoth grand fir standing at 64 meters tall! 

“A landscape management plan will help the team there plan for the future, as well as informing future generations about how the site has been managed, and why.  This kind of knowledge is extremely valuable in the management of these collections, many of which mature over hundreds of years, way beyond the limits of a human lifetime.”

By uniting the best of Scotland’s tree collections under a single banner, providing access to shared resources, knowledge, and fundraising opportunities, NTCS is helping to ensure that this unique aspect of Scotland’s cultural and natural heritage is maintained for the benefit of future generations.

Notes to Editors 
1) The National Tree Collections of Scotland is a partnership project, led by Forestry Commission Scotland and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. It aims to involve tree collections at sites around the country in a national arboretum for Scotland, raising awareness of Scotland’s world-leading role in tree conservation. It also aims to highlight the rich history of Scottish plant collectors, whose legacy shapes modern forestry - and its significant contribution to Scotland’s rural economy.

2) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate and manages the 660,000 hectare national forest estate, protecting, managing and expanding Scotland’s forests and woodlands in a ways that deliver benefits to Scotland’s people, communities, biodiversity and economy.

3) The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the world’s leading research botanic gardens. It’s National Heritage Collections include over 3 million preserved plant specimens, library and archive collections dating back to the 15th century, and one of the best-documented Living Collections of plants in the world with over 15,000 species cultivated in its four gardens, all of which underpins world leading scientific, horticultural and educational programmes in Scotland and in over 80 countries worldwide.

4) Media enquiries to Tom Christian at or on 0131 552 7171.