For several years, Jackson’s has been donating to Trees for Life, a Scottish Charity which is reforesting areas of the Highlands. We are pleased to announce that we recently passed a major milestone: we have now planted more than 500 native trees in the Scottish Highlands.
The original idea of giving to Trees for Life was to offset the environmental cost of producing our catalogues. As a result of the large number of customers that shop with us, we distribute many thousands of catalogues every year. Although we print our catalogues on FSC certified paper, we were also hoping to give a little bit back to the environment by planting trees and offsetting some of our carbon footprint.
Going forward, we also pledge to plant a tree for every Jackson’s watercolour set we sell. This seemed appropriate because many of our customers who paint in watercolours are inspired by the beauty of landscape and nature. This is reflected in the watercolours which are shared by our customers on social media and entered into our competitions.
While the Highlands may look to our eyes like a pristine habitat, the reality is that landowners have for centuries encouraged the clearance of native mixed woodland in favour of heather moorland or Forestry Commission monoculture forest. This has lead to a decline in native species such as Scots pine, Birch, Willow, Aspen, Rowan, Juniper and Oak, as well as the fauna which depend on them.
Our seedlings are grown from locally collected seed from these species. They are grown at the Trees for Life nursery at Dundreggan, near Loch Ness, before they are transported to Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, North West of the Loch. This spectacular and mountainous area contains a number of fragments of ancient forest. Here volunteers staying at the Athnamulloch Bothy plant the seedlings in fenced exclosures to ensure they are protected from grazing deer until they are established.
In time, these trees will connect the surviving fragments of Glen Affric’s ancient forest in order to establish a larger habitat area for species such as Red Deer, Capercaillie, Black Grouse and Red Squirrel. The aim is to spread this forested area towards the west coast.