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Milton of Mathers

Project Summary

Milton of Mathers project map

  • Unique ID: 103000000004416
  • Status: Validated
  • Project Location: Milton of Mathers, St Cyrus, Montrose Angus
  • Previous Land Use: Alluvial soils recently improved for rough grazing
  • Species Mix: Oak 40%, Birch 17%, Woody shrubs 16% Ash 11%, Aspen 8% Alder 5% Wych elm 3%
  • Woodland Management:  Minimum Intervention:  Management only for access and minor firewood removal
  • Net Planted Area: 17.4 ha
  • Start Date: Planting commenced 1/04/2008
  • Estimated Sequestration: Over 70 years the project will sequester 6662 tCO2e
  • Project Developer: James Hepburne Scott, Forest Carbon Ltd

About the Site

The nearest town to the woods is St Cyrus in Aberdeenshire. The new woods follow the course of two small valleys or dens (the Den of Lauriston the Denfinella) and their burns which meet on the coast at Mill of Mathers. Both Lauriston Den and Denfinella contain locally important archaeology which we wanted to preserve so the new woods are planned with them in mind.

Milton of Mathers


Landowners - Why get involved in the WCC?

However there is a SSSI on the site so we are going to:

  • Maintain the integrity and diversity of the woodland ground flora in accordance with local ecological factors.
  • Maintain plant species that are regionally notable.
  • Encourage a transition to ash-rowan-dog’s mercury woodland that is more typical in this part of north east Scotland.
  • Improve what we understand about the biological interest of the site.

As well as all of these we will of course be capturing atmospheric carbon to help combat climate change and helping The Green Insurance Company meet its mitigation commitments to its customers.

Jim Reid says:

We were delighted that Jim Reilly from SAC introduced us to Forest Carbon and The Green Insurance Company whose financial support made this new woodland possible. The process was very straightforward and we think the early growth of the wood will justify their investment.

Who is involved?

James Hepburne-Scott from Forest Carbon developed this project on behalf of the landower, Messrs JD Reid and Partners, arable farmers.  The woodland creation and managment is overseen by Jim Reilly of the Scottish Agricultural College and The Green Insurance Company have invested in the carbon that will be sequestered.

Milton of Mathers

How are we going about it?

We have put up a new stock fence around the new wood to keep the cattle from the farm out and all the trees and shrubs are protected by shelters so that deer and rabbits find it more difficult to feed on them. We cleared some of the gorse scrub and prepared the planting areas by chemical screefing but no herbicides were used within the boundaries of the SSSI. Fortunately we didn’t need to drain or fertilise the ground before the trees were planted and we will be weeding and replacing trees that don’t grow so that there are about 1600 plants per hectare by the time the canopy closes and the ‘site’ really looks like a woodland. We’ve left plenty of open space so that you can enjoy walking around the new woods and the archaeology and important plant communities will be maintained as the woodland establishes. The new woodland will capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Every 5 years we are going to monitor the amount of carbon captured by the woodland using Method B of the Carbon Assessment Protocols. This will help us to get an accurate figure of the amount of good it is doing to help combat climate change. We've used the Forestry Commission's models to predict that this will be 4,771 tCO2e over 70 years.

We made the new riparian woodland for wildlife, amenity and recreation but we will not be formally managing the new wood beyond making sure that the trees establish, maintaining access and removing a small amount of firewood.

Last updated: 17th June 2015