A new Rainforest Action Co-ordinator is to be appointed to work with a range of partners in helping protect and restore Scotland’s rainforest, located down the west coast of Scotland.
These native woodlands are internationally important with some of the world’s rarest bryophytes and lichens found amongst its trees, boulders and ravines.
Working within Scottish Forestry, but aiming to facilitate broad co-ordination and action, the new appointee will develop a strategic approach to restore and expand the rainforest.
Announcing the move, Environment Minister Mairi McAllan said:
‘’Scotland’s rainforest is incredibly precious and a magical place which is hugely important for biodiversity as well as culture and heritage.
“It is essential that we protect this unique woodland, conserving and expanding it for future generations.
“Much work is already underway in this regard with the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest, for example, already working with us to achieve this.
“This new post signals a further commitment by the Scottish Government to underpin and help co-ordinate all this hard work, ensuring our precious rainforest thrives and contributes to ambitions in the recently published Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.”
The rainforest consists of ancient oak, birch, ash, native pine and hazel woodlands.
The high levels of rainfall and relatively mild year-round temperatures gives the woodlands their unique characteristics.
Julie Stoneman of the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest, welcomed the announcement, adding:
“We look forward to working with Scottish Forestry’s new Rainforest Action Co-ordinator to help the Scottish Government meet its commitment to restore and expand Scotland’s rainforest.
“The Alliance believes ecological restoration will most successful if delivered at scale across the west coast, and in collaboration with land managers and communities.
“Coordination will be key to delivering results, as will long-term investment.”
The main threats to the rainforest comes from invasive non-native plants such as rhododendron, and from the damaging effects of deer browsing.
The Scottish Government recently awarded £1.3 million to Forestry and Land Scotland to enable them to tackle rhododendron and deer within the rainforest areas that the agency manages.
The new co-ordinator will work across the number of agencies, private landowners, charities and wider stakeholders to develop a co-ordinated plan of action to protect and restore Scotland’s rainforest.
Adverts for the new post will appear shortly.