Category Archives: Dundreggan


Alan Watson Featherstone, Founder of Trees for Life, writes about his experiences out in the Caledonian Forest, and about his work for the charity.

Seven year wait for a fungus

On 6th November 2009, while I was at Dundreggan, I discovered a large fungus fruiting at the base of an oak tree (Quercus petraea) that I’d never seen before. Situated right at the base of the tree, where the trunk

Continue Reading…

A wonder-full day at Dundreggan, part 2

The first part of this blog focussed almost entirely on the many insects I saw feeding on some ragwort plants (Senecio jacobaea) at Dundreggan in the middle of September. After lunch that day I continued walking in the birchwood near

Continue Reading…

A wonder-full day at Dundreggan, part 1

September is a month of transition in the Caledonian Forest, with summer coming towards an end, and the first signs of autumn appearing as the bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) begins to change colour. However, there’s still a lot of life visible

Continue Reading…

Frosty morning at Dundreggan

During early March we held a three day conference for our staff at Dundreggan, to look at our organisational strategy, and the direction that Trees for Life is going in with its work. Those of us based at our Findhorn office stayed over at

Continue Reading…

Ice formations on the Red Burn

It has been a very mild winter so far in the Highlands this year, with only a couple of relatively small snowfalls that haven’t lasted for more than day or two before the temperatures have risen again. During a recent visit

Continue Reading…

A small miracle on Dundreggan

One day in August 2007, before we had completed the purchase of Dundreggan, I was out walking on the estate with Colin Blyth, a forestry consultant whom we’ve worked with for many years, utilising his skills and experience to complement

Continue Reading…

Rediscovery of a rare species at Dundreggan

In 2012, during a survey he did for us of aphids on Dundreggan, Ed Baker discovered a species that had never been recorded in Britain before. This turned out to be the giant juniper aphid (Cinara smolandiae), which up until then had

Continue Reading…

A new discovery at Dundreggan

In the middle of December I was out at Dundreggan with a couple of my colleagues, including Doug Gilbert, our Operations Manager at the Estate, and Colin Blyth, a consultant whom we work with on our forest restoration projects there.

Continue Reading…

An inordinate fondness for aphids

In late August and early September I was at Dundreggan for meetings on several different days, and had some extra time on each of them before I had to return home. I used those occasions to visit a patch of devilsbit

Continue Reading…

The unusual contents of a tea cup!

Blog updated on 16th October 2014 with confirmation of the mites as being Poecilochirus carabi. On Sunday 10th August, I spent the day at Dundreggan, leading one of the series of biodiversity skills training courses we’ve scheduled for this summer, as

Continue Reading…