An extract from the Atlantic Hazel Audit Report, by Roz Summers A magnificent hazel tree . Photo © Andy Summers As part of the now…
Hazel Wood Audit
The Atlantic Hazel woods are one of Scotland’s most ancient woodlands, and they are likely to have been present in the project area for over 9,500 years. People have made use of the hazel resource in Coigach and Assynt in many ways over thousands of years. They are important for a whole range of connected species but in recent years their condition has suffered, for a variety of reasons. We know that many of the old hazel stools show little or no regeneration; they are aging and will die if not protected from grazing.
The aims of this project, which is now complete, were to:
- Identify the extent, location and condition of hazel woods remaining in Coigach and Assynt.
- Map and catalogue all major stands of hazel.
- Assign an index of importance based on the presence/absence of key indicator species and assign an index of the threats each stand faces.
In doing so we hope we can raise the profile of this important habitat locally and further afield, promote a better understanding of the habitat and instil a sense of pride and local identity, which together with having a better understanding of the health and condition of this habitat will allow for better decisions about future management to be made.
You can read and download the full report of the Hazel Wood Audit. It is a fascinating story.