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Forestry and Land Scotland are beginning the process of renewing their ten year Land Management Plan for North Mull. This comprises 3025 hectares of land within three forests – Aros, Ardmore and Quinish. These lie at the north of the Isle of Mull between Tobermory to the east and Dervaig to the west.

These forests are important not only for producing timber and providing important habitats for a wide variety of flora and fauna, but are also a valuable resource for both locals and visitors to the island. There are popular recreational routes especially within Ardmore Forest, enjoying the extensive opportunities for wildlife-watching in such a richly diverse area.

The forest also falls within the catchment of the Mishnish Lochs which now provides the public water supply for the majority of the island.

A forested hillside above a rocky seashore

Objectives

  • Develop a strategy for the future management of existing poor quality crops in current rotation and increase rotation length where appropriate.
  • Improve the long term sustainability of timber production by exploring opportunities for crops of varying quality into the next rotation; this will work towards future smoothing of the production forecast whilst incorporating the impact of peat restoration work on age restructuring.
  • Work towards removing all larch from Mull within the next ten years by managed removal of prioritised larch areas, especially in Ardmore and Aros, minimising the impact of future Statutory Plant Health Notices (SPHNs) on the sustainable management of the forest.
  • Review and improve both the choice of species and their provenance (in conjunction with ground condition suitability) and also diversification of species (within the constraints of high wind hazard classes impacting on the thinning potential of species other than Sitka Spruce/Lodgepole Pine (SS/LP)), to ensure sustainable timber production as the forests move into their next rotation.
  • Ensure both forest road network and provision of quarries is suitable for future management via an achievable road programme, especially in Aros and Ardmore.
  • Develop a strategy to reduce herbivore impact across the FLS estate.
  • Develop large scale Peat Restoration project in Aros and Ardmore and enhance Open Habitats.
  • Develop Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) restoration in Aros and Quinish blocks, and develop habitat networks via woodland expansion to increase the percentage of broadleaves and subsequent biodiversity (including control of Exotic Invasive species in Aros).
  • Management and protection of key species including considerable raptor interests across Mull (“Eagle Island” draws in high tourist numbers), and in addition the archaeological heritage of the area.
  • Ensure water quality maintained in Mingary Burn water catchment (Quinish), the Mishnish Lochs catchment (Aros and Ardmore: the island’s drinking water supply) and the Tobermory Distillery (Ardmore).
  • Maintain & enhance both views and existing recreation provision for the benefit of locals and increasingly large visitor numbers to Mull; focussed in Ardmore.
  • Work with local communities and MICT, especially around Dervaig and Tobermory, supporting the large-scale tourism now dominating the local economy with subsequent high nature visitor numbers.

Timeline

  • Summer 2021: Advertise start of plan renewal
  • Autumn 2021: Public consultation planned; if COVID-19 regulations allow this will be face-to-face as opposed to an online Consultation
  • 19 November 2021: Drop-in Public Consultation at Tobermory Church Hall, 2pm to 6pm
  • Spring 2022: Following-up on stakeholder feedback; developing draft LMP proposals
  • Autumn 2022: Wider stakeholder consultation on draft LMP; refinement of draft Plan
  • Winter 2022: Drawing together final LMP proposals
  • Spring 2023: Submission of LMP to Scottish Forestry for consideration

Documents and maps

Get in touch

If you would like further information or have any questions about this plan, please contact:

Susannah Hughes
Forestry and Land Scotland
Millpark Road
Oban
PA34 4NH
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Phone: 0131 370 5467 or 07827 239056